Book Review: The Good Nurse

THE GOOD NURSE | Charles Graeber
07.29.2014 | Hachette
Rating; 4/5 stars


Registered nurse Charlie Cullen was arrested in December 2003 and quickly dubbed “The Angel of Death” by the media. Cullen was not a mercy killer however, he chose to take his victims without any rhyme or reason, often simply choosing the easiest target available at the moment. The investigation into Cullen revealed that he had a murderous career spanning sixteen years, nine hospitals, and as many as 300 patient deaths. 


Charles Graeber has compiled an in-depth investigation into the life of Charlie Cullen within the pages of THE GOOD NURSE. Graeber smartly chooses to introduce the reader to Charlie in his early years and progress through his life in order to provide the most accurate picture of who he was as a person. Over his lifetime, Charlie played many roles, from son to husband to dedicated nurse, but somewhere along the path he fell to the darkness. Graeber takes us along as Charlie makes the decision to no longer look out for the best interests of his patients. We learn how unbelievably easy it was for Graeber to have access to medicines and patients across a series of different hospitals. 


Going hand in hand with experiencing Charlie Cullen’s journey to life as a convicted killer, is the fascinating police investigation that eventually brought justice upon Charlie. Graeber is able to provide the reader with excerpts from police records, interviews, wire-tap recordings and videotapes, as well as exclusive jailhouse conversations with Charlie and the confidential informant who helped bring him down. These actual excerpts and data points truly helped to fully immerse me into this investigation and how methodical the final take down of Charlie needed to be. 

I highly recommend THE GOOD NURSE to true crime fans who are looking for something a bit outside of the standard serial killer realm. This book is truly one that made me feel uncomfortable and concerned at the ease of which a person can be killed in a seemingly safe setting such as a hospital.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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