The Surgeon's Wife

A True Story of Obsession, Rage, and Murder
Narrated by: Danny Campbell
Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (181 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1985, in his exclusive Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, Robert Bierenbaum, a prominent surgeon and certified genius, strangled his wife Gail to death. He then drove her body to an airstrip in Caldwell, N.J., and dumped it into the Atlantic Ocean from a single-engine private plane. The next day he reported her missing.

Gail's parents had been thrilled to learn she was marrying Robert Bierenbaum. He seemed to be the perfect match for their daughter. He was from a well-to-do family, a medical student who spoke five languages fluently, a skier, and he even flew an airplane. But Gail would come to learn of her husband's dark side. On one occasion when Robert had tried to choke Gail because he caught her smoking, she filed a police report. She also alleged that he tried to kill her cat because he was jealous of it. For years, her sister pleaded with Gail to run for her life. Even her therapist warned his vulnerable patient that she could eventually die at the hands of the man she married.

Fifteen years after this unspeakable, unfathomable crime, a jury found Robert Bierenbaum guilty of murder - and stripped the mask off of this privileged professional to reveal a monster.

©2001 Kieran Crowley (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well Written

This is a horrendous story that I hadn't heard of in the news, although it's been awhile since it happened.

It's hard to believe that there are people among us like this. To be honest, I disliked both the victim and the person who was convicted. However, that doesn't take away from the tragedy
They couldn't prove he did it but I got the impression that he did, and the jury obviously did as well.. They had only circumstantial evidence but it was overwhelming damning.

It was almost the perfect murder...........

I felt the book was very well written but I didn't really care for the narrator. His voice sounded forced. I prefer Kevin Pierce to narrate true crime.

A good listen, overall. I hate to say that about an awful murder but I do like true crime. I wish it was all fiction though.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't Finish

I tried to persevere through but the narrator is just bad. Want my money back!

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • RK
  • 04-12-18

Can't get past the first 30 minutes

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narration of this book makes it so I can't even listen.

Would you ever listen to anything by Kieran Crowley again?

With a different narrator

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I can't listen, too slow, raspy and hard to understand

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great True Crime

Would you listen to The Surgeon's Wife again? Why?

I have a 1.5 hour commute to work and this book made it seem like 20 minutes. I cleaned my house, did yard word, worked out to this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Crazy love

Would you listen to The Surgeon's Wife again? Why?

No - Too slow and the characters are too darn dumb

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Surgeon's Wife?

Liked the stories about his water bagels

Which scene was your favorite?

When her sister got a chance to stare him down.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

Kind of slow

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Full of speculation.

What disappointed you about The Surgeon's Wife?

The end. To claim wrongful conviction is rare makes it hard to put any weight in the first 51 chapters. That's just dead wrong. Or at least vague. 149 people were cleared in 2015 for crimes they didn’t commit - more than any other year in history, according to a report published by the National Registry of Exonerations. That is hardly "rare" as the book claims. Just one of many disappointments here.

What does Danny Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His performance was enjoyable. It added a compelling narrative to an otherwise, book of speculation.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Surgeon's Wife?

The last few sentences.

Any additional comments?

All it takes is less than an hour to research the number of wrongful convictions in America. Also, what was the point of plugging the work of police at the end? No one faulted police in this story. Or did I miss that part?

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

Kieran Crowley did amazing research for this book and was truly invested in providing the readers with a full account and details of this case that spanned over a decade. He communicates this case in a story like fashion which makes it more enjoyable and flows well. He is a trustworthy author and have enjoyed several of his books and look forward to reading more. The narrator was also very good.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Narration is not pleasant

The story is OK, although slow at times. The real problem with this audiobook is the narration. The narrator’s voice is very raspy which makes it difficult to listen to the story. The voice is kind of like nails on a chalkboard.

I found the narrator’s voice so unpleasant that I tried to return the audiobook but could not because I purchased it too long ago.

In the future I will avoid all audiobooks read by Danny Campbell.

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The Surgeon's wife

excellent read. rich details about victim, family and psychology. Interesting information regarding the perpetrator. highly recommended

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very documenatry

This book was interesting I wondered about Dr. Bob truth. Did he really kill Gail? Some times ijn the story I wanted to kill Gail. She talked too much. I was not a fan of neither of the two main chracters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 01-21-18

interesting

a very thorough book looking at the case of a doctor who might have murdered his wife.
the twists and turns in the story and the eventual outcome are intricately detailed and discussed. I found this true life story a very interesting one that leads to one conclusion in reality.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Walnut Baby
  • 11-02-19

Ruined by the narrator

An intriguing story however the narrator is dull and robotic. The total lack of “lifting it off the page” of the narrator makes the reading very flat and unengaging.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Melmo25
  • 02-09-19

Bad narration

oh dear. This narrator , he's no Kevin Pearce. I could hear him breathing, he paused for no reason and had a monotonous tone.
it really spoilt my enjoyment of such a great story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ang mcq
  • 06-17-18

Good book

A very interesting true story. Very intriguing case and impossible to know what really happened. Recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs F
  • 06-01-18

Bob oh Bob

And don't get me started on the loose lipped unethical media whore Dr Michael Stone, he should have been struck off the register and put out to pasture for his unethical breach of Dr /Client privelage
Great book, infuriating, funny and with the victim being presented not as the wonderful innocent , but as the shallow coke snorting tramp that she actually was.