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
"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)
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.
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.
Too many to pinpoint.
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.
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
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.
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.
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!
Being a heavy equipment operator with long night shifts, good books are essential to me.
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.
Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.
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.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
I knew nothing about this case and actually managed to refrain from doing any research either before or during listening to this really enjoyable book.
I consider the late Anne Rule one of the 'Greats' when it comes to the "True Crime' genre as her research cannot be faulted. However this being said I am not a fan of her compendium volumes. I am pretty sure that these 'five murders in a book' idea must be her publisher's idea as I run in the other direction when I see them coming. So when I saw this volume I just had to read it.
So many books of this genre seem to take a chapter or two to 'get going'. Not this one! Had me at the first page. I read another reviewer who said that she had a really clean house and that all of of laundry and ironing was done because she could not stop listening. Well I too have turned into quite the Martha Stewart for the very same reason. Totally compelling!
If you want to read/listen to a story about a skilled manipulator who always appears to be level headed, caring, responsible and kind who can chose intelligent women and slowly chip away not only at their self esteem but at their very being then this is the book for you. But be aware as this justice does prevail and as the old saying goes 'Revenge is a dish best served cold'.
I am looking forward to a few months to pass by so that I can listen to it again.
I love Ann Rule, so I'm biased. But she was a master researcher, gathering just enough details about the lives of the victims and perpetrators to paint a truly complete picture of the crime. This is the story of a true sociopath and his master manipulation of the many, many women in his life (including his own daughter). Hilariously, the perpetrator self published a rebuttal to this book. I haven't read it but the online reviews suggest it's more a run down of his sexual conquests than proof of his claimed innocence.
The performance is great; he has an awesome voice and it kept me totally engaged.
I'm Irish and proud of it! Father of three beautiful girls, USAF veteran, 25 years in Social Services! Carpe Diem
I think I enjoyed the cumulative efforts on the part of the defense attorneys and prosecutor who didn't give up on this case!
The history of his failed marriages, the insidious way in which Brad manipulated everyone around him including his own children.
Brad, he conveyed just how devious Brad Cunningham was and his evil intent.
A TRUE SOCIOPATH
Great book by Ann Rule, one of my top three writers on true crime. Expertly done Ms. Rule.
Ann Rule does a tremendous amount of research before writing any true crime novel. I wish these novels weren't true crime because they would be easier to stomach.The gullibility of the victims was quite infuriating. How a woman can marry a man with a string of wives before her is a mystery to me, no matter how charming he is. I kept thinking "I just don't get it." As with most of her novels, she writes about serial killers and psychopaths. The pathology can't be understood by any reasonable person.
Justice at the end.
Ann Rule does a lovely job in unpacking the history and personality of both the victims and convicted murderer. With interviewing friends, family, and the professionals working on this case, you get a multi-viewed perspective of what might have otherwise been a 2 dimensional figure. Nicely read and enjoyable even when the subject matter was grizzly. Highly recommended for true crime lovers.
"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
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"What a waste of time"
I was really looking forward to reading this book, got myself sorted out on the sofa - hubby off out, lovely cup of tea too hot to drink right away, snuggled into the corner, and switched it on. I tried, REALLY tried to get into this book, -I listened to about 10/12 chapters, and gave up. I just couldn't get into it at all.I appreciate that your taste will be different than mine, but I really wish I hadn't bought this book.
"A murderer gets his come-uppance"
A thoroughly researched investigation into a sociopath. I loved the detail and am new to the writings of Ann Rule. A brilliant writer and a brilliant book. Have listened to the book three times now and get something fresh out of it every time.
"If you value your sleep, don't buy this book!"
Could not stop listening!
'Son' by Jack Olsen
although the american accent took a bit of getting used to - it wasn't grating
Can't say as will be a spoiler if you haven't read it yet
If you have had to deal with a narcissist or just find the subject fascinating, get this book. You will not be disappointed.
I am a big fan of Richard Ferrone and his narration of the Lucas Davenport series. So to jump from fiction to non-fiction with Mr Ferrone as the narrator was not hard. At 20 hours long you might think its going to be a long winded account of an evil twisted sadistic narcissistic man who preyed on intelligent, beautiful but rather naive women. But do not be swayed, this is a terrific audio book. I listened to it whenever I had the chance completely enthralled by the narrative and extraordinary tale which unfolds. It is hard to believe its based on fact and many times during this audio I wanted to get these women and shake them to make them see sense. But hindsight is a powerful weapon and perhaps if you were on the receiving end of such a person, you may have acted differently. Excellent book.
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