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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller: The "fascinating" true story of John Dale Cavaness, a much-admired Illinois doctor - and the cold-blooded killer of his own son (The Washington Post).

Fusing the narrative power of an award-winning novelist and the detailed research of an experienced investigator, author Darcy O'Brien unfolds the story of Dr. John Dale Cavaness, the southern Illinois physician and surgeon charged with the murder of his son Sean in December 1984. 

Outraged by the arrest of the skilled medical practitioner who selflessly attended to their needs, the people of Little Egypt, as the natives call their region, rose to his defense. But during the subsequent trial, a radically different, disquieting portrait of Dr. Cavaness would emerge. 

Throughout the three decades that he enjoyed the admiration and respect of his community, Cavaness was privately terrorizing his family, abusing his employees, and making disastrous financial investments. As more and more grisly details of the Cavaness case come to stark Midwestern light in O'Brien's chilling account, so too does the hidden gothic underside of rural America and its heritage of violence and blood.

©1989 Darcy O'Brien (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Murder in Little Egypt

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Well-Written and well-performed

Ann Rule (RIP) was my favorite true-crime writer because she knew how to craft the story of the criminals and victims. I didn't feel like a creepy voyeur when reading her books. Darcy O'Brien reminds me of that well-written, well-crafted story-teller. This listen was so well laid out that I could follow everything that was unfolding. There were a lot of little bits of facts here and there that I was not aware of. Facts about the location, the time period this crime took place, the culture, the gruesome crime scene, etc.

The book was read by Perry Daniels...of whom I am now a fan of! I could fully understand everything that he said. He has a nice timbre and tone to his voice.

16 people found this helpful

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Fantastic! Must read!

One of the best written and most fascinating true crime books I’ve read or listened to in a long time. Only the Stranger Beside Me and Heltler Skelter come to mind. (In Cold Blood as well)
Nothing gory and no extraneous details in this book. It’s thrilling and unbelievable!
Must read for fans of true crime!

6 people found this helpful

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Not Typical 'True Crime,'

This is not a T.V. show novel- This is a deep; very detailed description of what happens wayyyyy before the murder- It is a slower-paced book so be prepared to break it up into sections and not feel like you will forget what happened- Luckily there are not a lot of 'characters' to keep track of-

5 people found this helpful

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Well read- interesting

lived in Carbondale, heard of the story. Well told about the climate of the area

3 people found this helpful

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Cold-Blooded

This is a tale of cold-blooded murder. That Dr. John Dale Cavaness was surely deranged is an unavoidable conclusion.
Author O'Brien's comprehensive description of the doctor's descent into madness is chronicled in his description of the killer from his earliest days as a seemingly normal but utterly determined youngster.
Narration is slightly dead-pan but compelling, with excellent renditions of the various characters.

3 people found this helpful

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Some people are plain sick.

I enjoyed this book. At first I thought I would not be able to endure the narration but I did grow fond of it. Held my I interest.

2 people found this helpful

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Engrossing story

Interesting story and the narrator was excellent. Often times, when I’m deciding to purchase an audible book, the narration makes or breaks my decision. This had both, good story and narration. Highly recommend.

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easy listen after having trouble with other books

I'd been having a hard time finding an audio book that I could pay attention to and follow while working at home. This one was very clear and the narrator was easy to understand and just engaging enough while not sounding grating. The story was interesting enough for me to want to finish the whole thing,

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EXCELLENT READ

One of THE BEST true crime books I have ever read! And I’ve read a lot!

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Spellbinding true crime, don't miss this

One of the most haunting of the many crime cases I've read about or seen on TV. Truly horrifying killer, a real life Jekyll and Hyde: on the one hand a beloved small town doctor, on the other a soulless beast who killed his own sons for insurance payouts.