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The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder | [Charles Graeber]

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 16 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 a riveting piece of investigative journalism nearly 10 years in the making, journalist Charles Graeber 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, The Good Nurse weaves an urgent, terrifying tale of murder, friendship, and betrayal.

Graeber'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 hardboiled, unrelenting 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.

In the tradition of In Cold Blood, The Good Nurse 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. Harrowing and irresistibly paced, this book will make you look at medicine, hospitals, and the people who work in them, in an entirely different way.

©2013 Charles Graeber (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Pete Marietta, GA, United States 08-25-14
    Pete Marietta, GA, United States 08-25-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I hope I never have to go to a hospital."
    What did you love best about The Good Nurse?

    i loved the narrator. I think Will Collyer's performance was great. Hope he does more books.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Good Nurse?

    When the police realize the hospitals have been hiding evidence from them.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was really liked by the scene where the police show the evidence to his good friend. Her reaction of shock and pain as she grasped the truth was moving. I loved her bravery and courage to do the right thing.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    In many ways this book was terrifying. I hope to never spend any time as a patient alone in a hospital. I want to have a very suspicious body guard with me at all times.


    Any additional comments?

    This book sort of reminded me of ZODIAC. It took so long for the police to figure out what was going on. Of course in this case, the various hospitals knew and hid the information about what this nurse was doing. A lot of people died who would not have if they had been honest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 08-10-14
    Melissa 08-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Angel of death. Wow"
    Would you listen to The Good Nurse again? Why?

    I think I could listen again. Very intriguing book.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I don't know if I was on the edge of my seat, but wow this book pulled me in and kept me the whole time.


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

    He was very good.


    Any additional comments?

    I know it may just be me, but I love a crime novel and add medical to it and I'm in heaven. This book was very interesting. You could tell that a ton of research went into it . I can't believe this was the first time I heard of this case. Great story. If you like medical true crime this is a book for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helios Houston, tx 06-24-14
    Helios Houston, tx 06-24-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Eerily addictive read."
    What made the experience of listening to The Good Nurse the most enjoyable?

    Listening about the sophisticated method involved in the killings.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish there were details about the killings. Instead, there was more focus on the killer's biographical background.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannine Brighton, CO, United States 05-30-14
    Jeannine Brighton, CO, United States 05-30-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Not my kind of book"

    Sorry... but I should have listened to the sample before ordering this book. In my opinion, this is more like a school report than a good book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States 04-27-14
    R POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States 04-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Twists, Turns and It's True Life"

    Well written book. Some long winded and frequently used analogies but sparing those it was a good book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toya SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 03-13-14
    Toya SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2014

    Bookworms rule!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Holy Canolli!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Good Nurse the most enjoyable?

    This book reads like a thriller. It reeled me in from page one and I found it hard stop listening. I've had many sleepless nights trying to keep my eyes (and ears) open for this incredible story. Horrific, amazing, scary, shocking....but an absolute must listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Good Nurse?

    While reading the description of patients receiving care on the burn unit, I cringed but couldn't stop reading.


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

    His voice was perfect for the "character" he portrays in this book. There were many times when I got so deep into the reading that I had to remind myself that the person reading wasn't the perpetrator.


    If you could give The Good Nurse a new subtitle, what would it be?

    A story of a relentless serial killer.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely recommended.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DiK 12-28-13
    DiK 12-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Good Nurse to be better than the print version?

    Can't say because I haven't read the book.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Indeed. By making me consider how lucky I have been when I have had to go to a hospital that I came out alive.


    Which character – as performed by Will Collyer – was your favorite?

    Amy


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I felt no sympathy for the killer, nor the hospital administrators. But I did for Amy.


    Any additional comments?

    This book educates listeners they must be their own patient advocates. They must learn to question every pill, injection & food they are given. They must get from their doctor a written list of the medicines they will be given PRIOR to receiving them. The patient must ask why they are being given these medicines & how they will affect them as well as interact with other medication. Also how long they will need to receive the medicines & how often. If the patient is unable to do this, than they must try to ask a trusted family member or friend to provide this protection. As the writer points out more than once, medical accidents in hospitals happen. Much more often than the average person is aware of. That is the biggest worry. Add in the possibility of a nut case killing patients & one begins to see the risks involved & why its necessary to take all precautions to protect yourself when there is a need to be treated in the ER, or admitted to a hospital.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gdkeyes 12-27-13
    gdkeyes 12-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the credit"

    After reading past reviews I was worried I would be disappointed, but I'm glad I took the chance and used my credit. Yes, the narration is dry if not all out boring. Words are mispronounced etc. However, the story itself kept me listening. I could not get over how this killer could have been caught earlier but due to hospitals being more worried over lawsuits than patient's lives, he was passed on from hospital to hospital. It's sick how legal concerns are paramount to people within our hospitals. This story stands as an example.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Petersen Wheat Ridge, CO, United States 06-22-13
    Petersen Wheat Ridge, CO, United States 06-22-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Buy and read this book immediately!"

    Having been a Registered Nurse for the better part of 30 years, I was keenly interested in the subject matter of this book. I found the story to be terrifying not only from my perspective as a professional but as a patient. I don't want to say much more because I'd rather not spoil the story but I would recommend this book to everyone. The book is well written and the story so compelling that you will not want to put it down.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    clemmie 05-11-13
    clemmie 05-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Captivating and horrifying"
    What did you love best about The Good Nurse?

    To be able to peer inside the mind of America's most pervasive serial killer is a rare and distinctly unique experience... I love psychology and especially criminal psychology.


    Have you listened to any of Will Collyer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No - but I enjoyed it immensely


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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