Book Review: The Bad Nurse by Sheila Johnson

23450150Title: The Bad Nurse
Author: Sheila Johnson
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Murder By MedicineIn the small southern town of Ider, Alabama, everyone knew Karri Willoughby as a devoted nurse, loving wife, and mother of two small children. When she was accused of killing her stepfather Billy Junior Shaw with a fatal injection of the anesthetic Propofol, outraged friends and family rallied to her defense.

Overnight Karrie became a media sensation, portrayed as an innocent young woman caught up in a terrible tragedy—until four years later, when she walked into court and pleaded guilty as charged. Only then did the full scope of her crimes emerge.  Nurse Karri was unmasked as cold-blooded, conniving murderer.

Investigative journalist Sheila Johnson draws on hundreds of pages of previously unseen police records, interviews, recordings and videotapes, to create a haunting real-life thriller of medicine, family, and betrayal.

Includes Dramatic Photos

Karri Willoughby seemed like a normal person, who loved her family, was a devout Christian, worked as a nurse, and who seemed the perfect woman in almost every way. At least, that was how she appeared to her faithful and loyal followers on her blog. In The Bad Nurse, author Sheila Johnson tells the real story.

Enigmatic and sympathetic Karri Willoughby killed her stepfather, Billy Shaw, over a money dispute, giving him a lethal dose of medication she brought along from the place she worked at. For months, she tried to convince her friends and online followers of her innocence, right until she walked into the court room and plead guilty. The author investigates Karri’s motives, her behavior prior to pleading guilty in court, how the murder happened, and communication between Karri and other inmates that betray she’s not the person she pretended to be at all.

While the book was an entertaining read, and it did focus a lot on the manipulative aspects of Karri’s personality, it came across as repetitive – repeating the same passage and/or sentiment several times. It also didn’t seem that well-researched. It does show communication between Karri and other inmates, some snippets of what people had to say about Karri, and so on, but it doesn’t really mention much about the toxicology rapport and the forensics of the murder. It’s mentioned but not detailed enough for my liking. Rather than on the murder, the book focused on the aftermath, and Karri’s manipulative ways.

Not bad at all, and definitely an interesting read, but I generally prefer books that focus more on the crime itself.


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