Dead by Sunset

  • by Ann Rule
  • Narrated by Richard Ferrone
  • 20 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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!


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- Lily

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.

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- Julie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-28-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio