Beautifully Cruel

Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Iowa housewife Tracey Pittman Roberts seemed to have it all: natural beauty, three loving children, and a fairy-tale second marriage to a wealthy, handsome businessman. But beneath the happy façade was a woman who used lies, manipulation, sex, ugly allegations, blackmail - and even murder - to serve her own selfish ends.

On December 12, 2001, police rushed to Tracey's home after a shooting left her vulnerable young neighbor dead. Tracey claimed it was an act of self-defense. Nine gunshot wounds - and a decades-long trail of extortion, fabrication, fraud, and intimidation - said otherwise. Ten years after the crime, Tracey's case finally went to trial in an explosive courtroom showdown. In a searing exploration of the criminal mind, best-selling investigative journalist M. William Phelps traces the saga of a psychopath who hid in plain sight - until her wicked ways caught up with her.

©2017 M. William Phelps (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Beautifully Cruel

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Difficult to follow all the characters.

Book didn't flow on a timeline.To many incidental story lines interrupted facts of the underlying story

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Really bad book

No doubt the woman who is the subject of this book was guilty. The book itself, though, along with the narration, are terrible. It's more like a National Enquirer type story rather than an an in-depth telling of a terrible crime. The snide editorial comments, along with the vocal inflections of the narrator are genuinely disappointing. I suggest that, if you wish to read/listen to exceptional books about real crime stories that you look to the many outstanding ones written by Joe McGinnis.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator is very irritating!

I have read all of this author's true crime books; they are well-researched and interesting, but he leaves the reader with no question about where his sympathies lie. In fact, he tends to beat the reader over the head with his opinion of the people involved in the story. The narrator drives me up the wall with his constant emphasis on certain words, as if they were direct quotes. This causes his narration to be very jerky instead of flowing in a more natural way. I always finish his books but grit my teeth trying to ignore the choppy narration.






1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

very redundant and opinionated

I was excited to hear this book but became disappointed as the story unfolded. The author is very repetitive and makes the same observations and references the same stories over and over for hours. Rarely once you get into the book is anything new revealed. The author also voices personal opinion a lot, referring to the murderess in derogatory ways instead of sticking with fact. The outlandishness of the murderesses actions and opinions are constantly criticized, which I don't really feel is an authors place. I prefer when authors tell a story and allow you to form your own opinion of those involved without forcing it down your throat. The last few minutes are just slandering her (the murderesses) mother, in what seems to be a waste of words. The author even threatens to start a page on his website to post the ridiculous emails he receives from the mother, which seems to be an unnecessary attack on someone whose obviously hysterical and isn't responsible for the murder at all. I have never heard any other true crime author rant on about personal opinion so much and it detracted from what was a quite interesting investigation and crime story.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narration, boring and winding story

Usually, I'm all over true crime books like this. Murder? Yes please. Elements of lying and forging identities and manipulation? Yes PLEASE. But after three hours (a fair amount) of listening, I just stopped. The narrator is grating -- there's so MUCH EMPHASIS placed ON RANDOM phrases FOR DRAMATIC ~effect~! His high-pitched narration of the woman becomes maddening. And the story doesn't lead with anything meaty. It meanders and drags on, and there's scant description of the players, so who's who becomes a blur. Mysteriously BORING. Skip.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Too much time defending yourself to others

I wish you hadn't felt the need to do this....good story otherwise. Well order my third book from you via Audible.com, today

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Confused<br />

couldn't get the storyline in my head. tried 3x. gave up. Refund or credit? thx

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The narration made this unbearable

I have previously enjoyed all of Me. Phelps' novels but I could not make it through this one.

While the storyline sounds ghouls the narrator seems to be speed reading it.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

How the heck was she convicted?

I definitely got the author's opinion. But the facts are sketch. I felt that the relationship between the Prosecuting Attorney and the rando outside investigator who'd suddenly hopped on the case was both unprofessional and somewhat...hysterical? Why would a journalist raise these people up as credible?

If the murderess is, in fact, a murderess, this didn't really present a narrative that made me believe so. The performance didn't help as the tonality rarely wavered from snide disbelief. As for threatening to make a web page of the mother's emails.... I don't know. That just seems like kicking a grieving person while they're down.

I did finish it to give it a thorough try. But it took me forever to get through as I spent most of the time alternating between being bored, irritated, or wondering why the heck so much emphasis was put on points of information that didn't make sense.

Granted, this is my first venture into the true-crime genre. Perhaps it's just not for me.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story great listening wonderful aurthor

I really enjoy my Audible books and this book did not disappoint . I have watched the tv shows the author has on and enjoyed them and became a great fan . I am 78 years old and legally blind so Audible is a blessing to me .

1 person found this helpful