The Good Nurse

The Good Nurse

A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history. Cullen's murderous career in the world's most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When, in March of 2006, Charles Cullen was marched from his final sentencing in an Allentown, Pennsylvania, courthouse into a waiting police van, it seemed certain that the chilling secrets of his life, career, and capture would disappear with him. Now, in this piece of investigative journalism nearly ten years in the making, the author, a journalist presents the whole story for the first time. Based on hundreds of pages of previously unseen police records, interviews, wire-tap recordings and videotapes, as well as exclusive jailhouse conversations with Cullen himself and the confidential informant who helped bring him down, this book weaves an urgent, terrifying tale of murder, friendship, and betrayal. The author's portrait of Cullen depicts a surprisingly intelligent and complicated young man whose promising career was overwhelmed by his compulsion to kill, and whose shy demeanor masked a twisted interior life hidden even to his family and friends. Were it not for the work of two former Newark homicide detectives racing to put together the pieces of Cullen's professional past, and a fellow nurse willing to put everything at risk, including her job and the safety of her children, there's no telling how many more lives could have been lost. This work does more than chronicle Cullen's deadly career and the breathless efforts to stop him; it paints an incredibly vivid portrait of madness and offers a penetrating look inside America's medical system. This book will make you look at medicine, hospitals, and the people who work in them, in an entirely different way.
Publisher: New York : Twelve, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780446505291
0446505293
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 24 cm

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slarsen
Feb 07, 2015

I really like the way Graeber uses words to paint a very clear picture in my mind. Story was captivating. Where are his other books? I predict that he is going to be in demand!

JCLBethanyT May 22, 2014

Like any good true crime, The Good Nurse combines suspense with grisly detail, coupled with the catharsis of arrest at the end, but Graeber goes above and beyond, with prose that veers into the haunting and by layering in the sinister overtones of the for-profit hospitals desperate to avoid liability--so desperate that they ended up enabling the Angel of Death's sixteen year career. Nominated for an Edgar and featured on many "Best of 2013" lists, this is a great read for newbies to the genre as well as the seasoned readers.

niftygal Feb 02, 2014

EW top 10 Nonfiction of 2013

athompson10 Aug 25, 2013

Interesting story but sometimes told in a choppy manner. Very erratic footnotes/notes, most of which would better serve the narration if they were part of the main text.

d2013 May 06, 2013

I can't believe this is a true story. Kind of scary I must say.

b
BigOrange
Apr 25, 2013

Gripping tale of how this guy managed to work his way through many hospitals leaving bodies in his wake. As much a damning indictment of hospital bureaucracy as the story of a deeply disturbed individual.
I was bothered not only by many typographical and grammatical errors throughout which really should have been caught by the editors, but also by the fact that there is not much insight into the workings of Mr. Cullen's mind. The author makes it clear that he was able to get closer than most, and that it is something we will probably never know, but nevertheless, it's frustrating.

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