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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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4.1 (573 )
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4.1 (511 )
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  •  
    Trevor 04-14-15
    Trevor 04-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Nice!"

    I really love true crime, and this is true crime at its best. It has everything you would want. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgette 04-02-15
    Georgette 04-02-15
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    9
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    "Captivating !"

    One of the best read stories I've heard the reader was amazing - story was Captivating didn't want the book to end !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 03-19-15
    Laura 03-19-15 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    "Great true story that reads like a novel."

    Great true story that reads like a novel. Only critique I have about the performance is that the narrator usually pronounced the nickname for digoxin as DIG with a hard G instead of with a soft G as was explained early on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 02-19-15
    Kimberly 02-19-15
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    "Great read"

    I read this book required by my Nursing class at University of Maine it is a very eye opening book I would recommend to mystery readers but as well as nurses and students

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gibbychan Gilbert, AZ 02-10-15
    Gibbychan Gilbert, AZ 02-10-15 Member Since 2015

    Emilia Gibbons

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    "Fascinating"

    Well written crime non-fiction that delves into all of the different points of view. The narrator does a great job with all of the voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MAX&BETTY FLORIDA 02-08-15
    MAX&BETTY FLORIDA 02-08-15 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Wow! Well researched and narrated"

    I've listened to this book a few times. The story brings the light on so many issues from depression, oversights in administration and patient care. It's scary how a person like Charlie could float in a medical system being fired and hired while killing patients driven by his emotional peaks and valleys.

    The narration was fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmy 02-07-15
    Jimmy 02-07-15
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    "great listen. enjoyed many driveway moments with"

    This is a great book I recommended highly it was a great lesson a great narrator and a great author I enjoyed many driveway moments with this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Richmond Heights, MO, United States 03-23-14
    David Richmond Heights, MO, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Nonfiction that reads as fiction"
    If you could sum up The Good Nurse in three words, what would they be?

    scary, chilling, unbelievable


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

    realizing how trusting patients in hospitals are of their caregivers


    What about Will Collyer’s performance did you like?

    he did not get in the way of the story


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    you couldn't make this story up


    Any additional comments?

    They missed a couple of details in explaining how the tasks were accomplished.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smartypants Pacific Northwest 12-04-13
    Smartypants Pacific Northwest 12-04-13 Member Since 2003

    FBGA

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    "Narrator should check pronunciations"
    What would have made The Good Nurse better?

    If the story had gone into a little more detail and the narrator had checked the pronunciation of the term "dig" which is pronounced dij - a shortened version of the word digitalis, not dig like making a hole in the ground. For me (I am a nurse) it was exceedingly irritating and distracting to hear "dig" instead of "dij" every few minutes.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Charles Graeber? Why or why not?

    Maybe, it seemed that he skimmed over a lot of what could have been included, such as personal interviews.


    What three words best describe Will Collyer’s performance?

    Incompetent, otherwise good voice, good interpretation.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, I did find the story intriguing.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Portland, OR, United States 09-22-13
    Thomas Portland, OR, United States 09-22-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Fascinating and Chilling"

    A good read of a haunting story about how demented people can be. It is hard to tell who is worse, the medical establishments or the mass murderer. If you like true-life murder mysteries, this is a good one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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