Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber

I picked up this page turner on my birthday, while I was away from home at a conference, my traveling companion was busy doing other things, and my family was far away.  I needed something to draw me in and help me forget that I was missing birthday among friends.  I am not sure where I first heard about this, but the minute I saw it on the shelf I knew it would be my birthday present to myself.  I love reading journalistic accounts of real life events.  I am interested and amazed to watch a writer recreate complex events and turn them into elegant narrative despite the fact the he or she was no where near the events of the story. This write especially was able to see and hear and interpret all that happens with his clever imagination and in the eye of his mind. The transformation and writing can be miraculous.
This story of an angel of death, a nurse who begins killing his patients, is a  difficult story to tell for a host of reasons.  Charles Graeber recreates the events of 16 years by reviewing police reports, hospital reports and interviewing the many many people why were involved, even the killer himself. The story is told in an exciting manner, first by following the nurse who is perpetuating the crime, and then by following the police who eventually clue in to his crimes. The difficult mitigating factor is the fact that the hospital was fighting the police who were investigating the crime. Hospital officials would never be complicit in investigating the system that allowed a nurse to kill multiple patients over and over. How bad would that look for the hospital?

The Good Nurse is a true life crime thriller complete with good guys, bad guys, and real heroes. It is scaring me away from hospitals for the foreseeable future.  Who know how easy it would be to get away with murder? I highly recommend this true crime/hospital drama.  

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