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Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer? | [Ann Rule]

Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer?

Loni Ann, Cynthia, Lauren, Cheryl, and Sara seemed to have it all - beauty, wealth, children, and a husband who they believed to be this perfect man - Brad Cunningham. He was handsome, charismatic, and mysterious. They adored him and tried to give him all he wanted. But he wanted everything: sex, money, and it seemed, their very lives. How long would it take before he finally got what he deserved?
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Publisher's Summary

The shocking tale from true crime queen Ann Rule.

Who is Brad Cunningham? How could five beautiful, intelligent, and successful women believe he was their dream come true? Ask any women who ever longed for "the perfect man".

Loni Ann, Cynthia, Lauren, Cheryl, and Sara seemed to have it all - beauty, wealth, children, and a husband who they believed to be this perfect man - Brad Cunningham. He was handsome, charismatic, and mysterious. They adored him and tried to give him all he wanted. But he wanted everything: sex, money, and it seemed, their very lives. How long would it take before he finally got what he deserved?

This question haunts Dead by Sunset, Ann Rule's riveting and impeccably researched study of the destructive relationships, multiple marriages, financial manipulations, and monstrous acts of harassment and revenge that surrounded Brad Cunningham and his wives. It is also a penetrating - and ultimately shocking - recreation of Cheryl's murder and the eight years it took to bring her killer to justice.

Dead by Sunset is a chilling look at the evil that lurks behind the most charming of facades and a fascinating homage to the kind of courage and brilliance it takes to combat it.

©2008 Ann Rule (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"Rule provides a perceptive character analysis of a malignant, self-centered, charismatic con artist. It's a chilling, haunting portrait." (Publishers Weekly)

"The similarities with the O.J. case are compelling." (The Spokesman-Review)

"Fascinating material.... Ms. Rule admirably recounts this labyrinthine tale. (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (291 )
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4.2 (237 )
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4.1 (239 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Julie 10-10-11
    Julie 10-10-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    "Ann Rule at her best! Narration very suitable!"
    What did you love best about Dead by Sunset?

    It's a never-ending roller coaster of disbelief in how people behave the way they do, and those trusting enough to allow them to. Ann crafted this story beautifully, a fiction novel can't even compete - in this case, truth IS stranger than fiction.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Absolutely - although I'd seen the movie and knew the story, the book holds so much more detail, contains so many more rich characters, sub-plots and so much history that just can't fit into a movie... If you enjoyed the movie I would HIGHLY recommended this book. You'll bring so much more away, things will make much more sense.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to pinpoint.


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

    I think


    Any additional comments?

    It may be long, but I was never bored. Also, I've read where a couple people didn't care for the narration. I was hesitant to purchase it due to that, but I have thoroughly enjoyed his narration and story telling techniques. I'm so glad I went ahead and purchased it anyway. I thought he did a great job.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy 08-28-11
    Tracy 08-28-11 Member Since 2008

    Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    220
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    "Great true crime, Great narration."

    Really enjoyed this true crime book. This was my first Ann Rule novel and I was impressed. Ann uses her story telling skills along with her well researched facts to tell a great tale. The narrator was great. On Audible after the initial review, reviews often follow that are similar in content, and I wonder if this is what has happened with reviews regarding the narrator because he does a fabulous job here. Do not be disuaded.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn 07-29-13
    Robyn 07-29-13

    Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "triumph of true crime writing"

    This book has it all - plot, characters, surprises, suspense, rollercoaster of emotions - sadness, horror, sympathy, amazement, incredulity, frustration, anger. In short, the book has everything you could want to keep you interested. I took every opportunity to do something during which I could keep listening. I was a bit taken aback for the first few minutes by Richard Ferrone's narration but after a very short time I loved his voice and his presentation. He's just right for this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin casper, WY, USA 04-20-13
    Justin casper, WY, USA 04-20-13 Member Since 2006

    Being a heavy equipment operator with long night shifts, good books are essential to me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    Story
    "Wow, this was well done"

    I cannot add much to all the great reviews, well done book with no dull spots. Spend that credit and you will be happy you did.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 01-28-13
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 01-28-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My house is clean, my dogs are exhausted!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dead by Sunset the most enjoyable?

    This book was so engrossing! I got a lot done during the many hours I listened to the book; scrubbing, weeding and long dog-walks were my excuse to keep listening until it was done!

    Ann Rule's books have been my guilty pleasure for years. I don't really go for true crime books EXCEPT for hers. The level of detail is so fine that I wonder HOW she is able to get so close to the participants in the stories she tells. And she tells the stories with great respect and regard for the victims. She must be a remarkably compassionate and sincere woman.

    The story itself is almost unbelievable! If it were fiction, I’d probably toss it aside, thinking it was too far-fetched. How could so many smart, attractive women fall for the likes of Brad Cunningham?!

    I’ve read that Ann Rule is not so interested in the “big” stories like Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson; instead she likes to find stories that might not otherwise be told. Thank goodness for that! Casey and OJ stories are ubiquitous; this story, like all of Ann Rule’s stories, is well told, fascinating and might not have been told had Ann Rule not been interested in the case.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I think outrage, fury and frustration would better describe the reactions I had while listening to the book. I wonder, if someone observed me during my dog walks, if it would look as if I were mad at my dogs!


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blackhorse 04-18-15
    Blackhorse 04-18-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    21
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    "Boring"

    I touched it out but found it very boring, with all the naming the characters in the first few chapters and lives not so different from mine, minus the murder and money, of course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BabaOo 03-13-15
    BabaOo 03-13-15 Member Since 2015

    True crime audiobooks is my new found drug :)

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An intricate web of lies"

    For true crime lovers, this 20 hours journey will take you down the rabbit whole of an intricate web of lies, with manipulations so complex the devil could get lost, but not Brad Cunningham, the most evil misogynistic killer I have ever seen. Great listen....even though I prefer female narrators :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Thompson Tustin, CA, US 02-12-15
    Jill Thompson Tustin, CA, US 02-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Good book"

    Interesting story, what I expect of Anne Rule. Narrator voice is a little too. Soothing but I got used to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    m 01-04-15
    m 01-04-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    3
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    "Great details"

    Loved it so much I've listened to it 3 times! I recommend this true crime story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liezel Lowe 12-15-14
    Liezel Lowe 12-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Takes a while to get into"
    What did you love best about Dead by Sunset?

    I'd say the comeuppance of the antagonist was a delightful moment.


    If you’ve listened to books by Ann Rule before, how does this one compare?

    I liked it better than Every breath you take. That was quite a bit more difficult to get into.


    What does Richard Ferrone bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His phrasing, intonation and pauses adds to the content and the overall experience. His voice is soothing and warm - it invites the listener into the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. I felt quite sad for the victim and her family but the most extreme emotion was one of "Gotcha!" when Brad was exposed in court for the mysogynist he is.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Margaret
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    6/11/11
    Overall
    "Fan of Author, Fan of Reader"

    Dead by Sunset
    Like all of “Ann Rule’s” true crime books, this is unput downable
    Nothing skipped or left out. For those of us that like to know all the characters and we can look them up on the Web now, it is sheer joy
    A full study of a controlling psychopath, one can find this personality in any good psychological pathology book. Are they born? Or are they made so by the parent (in this case Bradley Cunningham’s father)
    One of the best narrators around “Richard Ferrone” really brings this book to life

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • sonia
    london, United Kingdom
    1/30/12
    Overall
    "excellent!"

    I downloaded this onto my i pod and it had me hooked from the start - fantastic, fascinating and so detailed you could just picture each of the characters in this. Brad Morris Cunningham, had all the charm, good looks and gift of being such a master manipulator that the most educated and strongest women fell under his spell. He was such an unpleasant man - his hatred of women showed in every aspect of his behavour, his denial of his Native American heritage, only ever acknowledging it when it suited him (money), his dismissive arrogance with regards to the law was breathtaking and I felt so, so sorry for all of his children to have been burdened with a father like that, but as far as he was concerned that was the normal way to treat women and children were just a commodity he learned that behaviour from his own father and grandfather. Thank goodness for the support of his ex-wife Sara who never stopped loving Cheryl's sons and being there for them and Cheryl's family, friends and colleagues who relentlessly never stopped until justice was done for her and her children also the strength that the ex-wives and partners managed to find to finally stand up to him - Brad Cunningham was evil to the core and is probably still denying to this day that he murdered his wife because he so believes his lies. Prison is too good a place for him.

    Loved it, loved it, loved it - Ann Rule does it again but I would really like to know how the Cunningham children are doing now away and free from his tyranny.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • judith
    Garstang, United Kingdom
    8/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "first rate yarn"

    This excellent story never loses it's capacity to grip from the first page to the last..At first, I felt vaguely uneasy enjoying a true crime story so much, but it is so well-written and well-read. The research is thorough, but not so much that it becomes boring or tedious. It's definitely worth revisiting. The writer should be very proud of such a thoroughly good book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • jennifer
    alfreton, United Kingdom
    7/28/12
    Overall
    "Dead By Sunset"

    This is by far one of the best books i have listened to by far,its gripping,unbelievable,disturbing,i could go on i could not stop listening to this story.
    I love true crime,but i do not remember this case,you will find yourself wanting to rip Brad Cunningham's head off,He was a total control freak,the court case is fascinating,its funny and sad i found myself crying,i will google this case now,if you like true crime then please listen to this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jillybuns
    5/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional listen!"

    I have listened to this twice now & both times found it absolutely riveting! The attention to detail & what can only be described as superb investigative story telling makes this a MUST READ for all lovers of True Crime. Loved it from start to finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Danielle Meeajaun
    4/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent and compelling story"

    Incredible story and good narration. Kept me hooked. Unbelievable how one man can cause such chaos and remain completely narcissistic throughout!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    3/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent narrator and ann rule is a great writer"

    I enjoy true crime especially those you can research further after reading.
    Great content as always, thoroughly investigated.
    The narration was just to my liking and kept me enthralled.
    What an evil man and totally delusional! I hope Cheryl's children continue to remember their mother and their family continue to support them.
    I hope he rots.
    I'm now an official ann rule fan.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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