Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer?

Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer?

4.4 54
by Ann Rule
     
 

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The author of eight New York Times bestsellers, Ann Rule first won nationwide acclaim with The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer Ted Bundy. Her Crime Files volumes, based on fascinating case histories, have assured her reputation as our premier chronicler of crime. Now the former Seattle policewoman brings us the horrific account of a charismaticSee more details below

Overview

The author of eight New York Times bestsellers, Ann Rule first won nationwide acclaim with The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer Ted Bundy. Her Crime Files volumes, based on fascinating case histories, have assured her reputation as our premier chronicler of crime. Now the former Seattle policewoman brings us the horrific account of a charismatic man adored by beautiful and brilliant women who always gave him what he wanted...sex, money, their very lives....
When attorney Cheryl Keeton's brutally bludgeoned body was found in her van in the fast lane of an Oregon freeway, her husband, Brad Cunningham, was the likely suspect. But there was no solid evidence linking him to the crime. He married again, for the fifth time, and his stunning new wife, a physician named Sara, adopted his three sons. They all settled down to family life on a luxurious estate. But gradually, their marriage became a nightmare....
In this gripping account of Cheryl's murder, Ann Rule takes us from Brad's troubled boyhood to one of the most bizarre trials in legal history, uncovering multiple marriages, financial manipulations, infidelities, and monstrous acts of harassment and revenge along the way. Dead By Sunset is Ann Rule at her riveting best.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brad Cunningham was handsome, brilliant, a high-school hero in his native Seattle, a football star at the University of Washington. His family background was unusual, with a Native American mother of whom he was ashamed and an Anglo father who was contemptuous of women. As an adolescent, Brad was violent with his sisters and his mother. This pattern continued in his first, second and third marriages but reached its apogee with his fourth wife, Cheryl Keeton, a highly successful lawyer by whom he fathered three sons. When their marriage collapsed and she sought custody of their children, Brad, a bank executive, threatened her; in September 1986, she was found bludgeoned to death in her car on an Oregon highway. The case remained unresolved until Cheryl Keeton's estate filed a civil suit for damages against Brad in 1991. A criminal trial followed in 1993, in which Brad was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 22 years. Rule (Small Sacrifices) provides a perceptive character analysis of a malignant, self-centered, charismatic con artist. It's a chilling, haunting portrait. Photos not seen by PW. 125,000 first printing; True Crime Book Club main selection; Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild and Mystery Guild featured alternates; Reader's Digest Nonfiction Condensed Book Club selection; Tri-Star/NBC-TV miniseries to air in November. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Bradley Cunningham was, to all appearances, a handsome, charming, and loving father, and caring husband. In reality, he considered his wives and children to be nothing more than disposable possessions. Rule proves herself once again to be the master of the true-crime genre in this account of abuse and murder. The narrative follows Cunningham's childhood, business dealings, affairs, and marriages and includes a look at his relationships with his parents, friends, and co-workers. Rule's writing is crisp and well paced, full of details that give the reader clear insight into circumstances and surroundings, as well as motive. Not only is Cunningham revealed as a master of manipulation and, ultimately, murder, but with the added dimension of sociopath-one who is absolutely unfazed by his crimes. Rule, if possible, has outdone herself. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/95.]-Christine Moesch, Buffalo & Erie Cty. P.L., N.Y.
Sue-Ellen Beauregard
Eight years after killing his divorced wife in Portland, Oregon, Brad Cunningham was finally convicted of her murder. The best-selling author of "The Stranger beside Me" (1981) and "Everything She Ever Wanted" (1992) tackles the case of the five-times-married Cunningham, whose loving personality and demeanor changed after each marriage. Although Rule's treatment has a promising beginning, her initial remark about the whole affair--that "the end would be a long time coming" --fittingly applies to the whole chronicle. Part of the book's overall problem may be that, compared to, say, cunning serial killer Ted Bundy, the manipulative Cunningham, who killed only once, is not particularly interesting, nor is his particular crime unique. Now if he had killed all five wives, that might be quite a story! Still, Rule knows how to pack some punch into her narrative, and her name on the cover will garner the interest of true-crime aficionados. With a large first printing, an author tour of the major venues, and lots of marketing hoopla, Simon & Schuster is counting on that.
From the Publisher
Walter Walker The New York Times Book Review ...fascinating material....Ms. Rule admirably recounts this labyrintine tale....

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

Dan Webster The Spokesman-Review (ID) The similarities with the O.J. case are compelling.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743202770
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
02/15/2000
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
35,271
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Ann Rule is the author of thirty New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship to infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she knows the crime scene firsthand. For more than two decades, she has been a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lives near Seattle. Visit her at AuthorAnnRule.com.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Seattle, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1935
Place of Birth:
Lowell, Michigan
Education:
Creative Writing Program, University of Washington

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