Charles Cullen, RN, was one of the most accomplished serial killers in recent history. For 16 years, working in multiple hospitals, he had a hand in the deaths of as many as 300 patients. Though colleagues knew-or had reason to know-what was going on, no one stopped him. THE GOOD NURSE does more than tell the horrifying tale of Cullen's deadly career; it paints an incredibly vivid portrait of madness and offers an excoriating look inside America's broken medical system. Cullen is but one of the story's many riveting characters. Others include a down-and-out detective and an Erin Brokovich-type employee who wrestles with herself and the truth about her friend and colleague, eventually joining forces to end Cullen's killing spree. Impossible to put down, THE GOOD NURSE ensures that readers will never enter a hospital in the same way again.
"Put this one on the shelf next to Ann Rule's classic about Ted Bundy, The Stranger Beside Me - it's that good. Grade: A"
Janet Maslin - New York Times
"A stunning book...that should and does bring to mind In Cold Blood....the story appeals to prurient interests, as does any graphic tale of true crime. But THE GOOD NURSE succeeds in being about much more than Mr. Cullen's murderous kinks. The causes of his pathology are not interesting. But the eagerness of ambitious hospital administrators to cover up his misdeeds is revelatory. And the police investigation that brought him down is a thriller in every sense of that word."
The Boston Globe
"A standout true-crime book, one that doubles as both a thrilling horror story and a cautionary tale, and frightens and frustrates in equal measure."
The Detroit News
Taking advantage of his exclusive access to serial killer Charles Cullen, journalist Graeber makes the most of the dramatic story of a nurse who began killing patients in 1991, and who eluded prosecution for over a decade. Experts estimate that he may have murdered up to 300 people before his arrest in 2003. Without excusing or condoning Cullen's crimes, the author presents a picture of the killer's horrific childhood, which may provide an explanation for his descent into violence--a journey that began with animal cruelty and emotional withdrawal from his increasingly frightened wife. Cullen began tampering with IV bags at St. Barnabas Hospital in New Jersey, and patients on the road to recovery, or who were at least stable, started dropping like flies. Incredibly, Cullen was able to move from one nursing job to another even after being forced out of employment because of suspicions that he was responsible for the deaths. Graeber doesn't pull punches--his description of the effects of insulin poisoning are chilling, and he needn't resort to hyperbole to damn the hospital administrators who failed to take it upon themselves to stop Cullen from claiming more lives. A deeply unsettling addition to the true crime genre.
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April 14, 2013
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