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Fall 2015 > The Good Nurse Book Review

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message 1: by Katrina (new)

Katrina McCutcheon | 2 comments Charles Graeber's book The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder tells the story of Charles Cullen, a nurse turned serial killer. After a sixteen year long nursing career, Cullen was charged with forty cases of murder. It is suspected, however, that he killed over four hundred people in total by injecting them with drugs and causing them to overdose. The book details how Charles Cullen was able to move from hospital to hospital for so many years without being caught for his actions. As the narrative changes from stories of Cullen's past to details of how he carried out his murders to the tactics of hospital administrators and police attempting to figure out why stable patients were suddenly crashing, the reader gets a full perspective of the situation from all angles.
The Good Nurse would be an intriguing book for anyone interested in the medical or law enforcement fields. Although many medical terms are used throughout the book, they are always well explained in a way that the common person can understand. The descriptions and narrative of the methods used by detectives to try and get a confession out of a supposed serial killer are particularly interesting. The book as a whole reads like a novel; without the label of "true story" the reader might never know the story wasn't fiction. Graeber combines quotes from interviews and phone calls with fictionalized conversations and thoughts. There is no surprise twist at the end; the reader is aware that Cullen is the murderer throughout the book, and at times the cycle of Charles Cullen moving to a new hospital, beginning to kill more patients, arousing suspicion, and moving on when he comes to attention becomes a little monotonous. However, the additions of perspectives from his coworkers, hospital administrators, and police detectives keeps the story moving along. The Good Nurse may not be a mystery thriller that keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat, but it will make the reader thinks twice about who exactly is injecting them with drugs when they find themselves in a hospital.


message 2: by Mrs. Raabe (new)

Mrs. Raabe (molly_raabe) | 12 comments You detailed review and perspectives on nursing and health care facilities have made me very apprehensive about ever going to the hospital! I had not considered reading this book, but might need to add it to my summer reading list now that I have read your review. Thank you!


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