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Publisher's Summary

Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends.

Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast. Ann Rule, who kept in constant contact with Bundy throughout the investigation, tells his story as no other person can, capturing the essence of his magnetic power, unholy compulsion, and demonic double life.

Available for the first time on audio, this shocking true story is an unforgettable listening experience. In an emotional reading, Rule tells us about Ted Bundy - the man she thought she really knew...the stranger beside her.

©2008 Ann Rule (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"As dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight." ( The New York Times)

Featured Article: True Crime—The State of Serial Killers, Washington


If you’ve ever watched Twin Peaks, you’ve seen how the state is almost a character itself. All those tall trees and fog add an extra layer of eeriness as the police search for a killer. Washington has seen more than its fair share of killers in real life. The state has the dubious honor of having the eighth-highest number of serial killers on record (California holds the top spot), and was home to arguably the most famous of all American serial killers: Ted Bundy.

What listeners say about The Stranger Beside Me

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Good One from Ann Rule

This is my 3rd Ann Rule book, 1st being Dead By Sunset, and 2nd: Green River, Running Red. I say this one was "good". It's clear, like other reviewers have said, that this was her first book, but the relationship between her and Ted make for a more interesting story than had she not known the main character of what was to be her first book. I didn't find her vacillating feelings for Ted annoying, like some other reviewers did, nor did I think she exaggerated the extent of her relationship with Ted. I think it was all pretty appropriate.
There is definitely something lacking with this story, which I can't put my finger on, but I'd recommend it to an Ann Rule fan or someone looking to learn more about Ted Bundy and his crimes.

55 people found this helpful

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Troubling account of a psychopath

Any additional comments?

I bought this book because it was mentioned several times in the book "Without a Conscience" by Robert D. Hare. While I found the story of Ted Bundy interesting, the effect he had on Ann Rule was as chilling as his murders.
Hour after hour I listened to the book waiting for the realization that Ann would finally come to about what a monster Ted Bundy was, but it never came.
Ann Rule, calmly and with almost the same callousness that Ted Bundy displayed in his life, reports on his murders and yet, she Ann, still talks about him as if her were a favored lover.
I can certainly understand protecting and supporting your friend until it is proven he is a monster, but at some point common decency should make you cringe in horror with the rest of the population at these atrocities.
This book makes the point of Dr Hare's book even more evident. When you deal with a psychopathic personality you can be taken in to the point of no return. The Stranger Beside Me" is the embodiment of that.

30 people found this helpful

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Brutal story, great storytelling

I had no idea that Ann Rule knew Ted Bundy. I found that she came awfully close to injecting herself a little too much into the story. But she backed away enough to tell a very entertaining but frightening tale of this monster. It is a shame she didn't get a chance to interview him prior to his execution, but a good tale nonetheless. Worth the credit.

45 people found this helpful

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Wow!! A really amazing book!

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. That's putting it mildly. I was entranced by it! I like true crime books, but I stay away from subjects that are too gruesome and scary, like the murders of Ted Bundy.
I worried this book would give me nightmares. However, Ann Rule does not fill her book with gory details. Instead Ann tells the shocking and fascinating story of life in the years of his murders and trials, and of her relationship and correspondence with him. The book is updated to reflect all the changes in his legal situation.

There is a lot of heart in this book. Ann Rule writes it with such compassion and true emotion. It's incredibly well written!! I can't say that enough. Instead of coming away with nightmares, I was able to view the horror and tragedy of Ted Bundy from an unusual and fascinating perspective. Rule stays away from the sensationalism that you might expect from a "serial killer" expose. She has written an unbelievably compelling story. It was really interesting to read (hear) her shifting of thoughts and emotions regarding Bundy and his crimes, as she battled with the realization that he may have used her just like he used the other women in his life. Oh it is just a really good book.

I highly recommend this. It is a book that will stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. And I will continue to read Ann Rule. This isn't my first if her books, but I think this is her best that I've read so far!!

Great Narration.

44 people found this helpful

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Creepy

The author tricked me into believing that Ted Bundy was a handsome, clever, ordinary guy--just as he tricked her. If we believe Ann Rule, it was long after capture and late in the judicial process that she saw the truth about the guy she had once worked with. And that's what makes the whole thing really creepy.

32 people found this helpful

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Interesting and Real

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES YES YES. If the topic interests you this is a first hand experience written by someone who know Ted Bundy. Well written and should I add written with the neutrality of a professional. great book

What other book might you compare The Stranger Beside Me to and why?

none

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

She was easy to listen to and presented the story perfectly with the right innuendos

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

definitely

Any additional comments?

get it you won't regret

22 people found this helpful

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Factual Account

Rule produced the best of the Ted Bundy books. She was the one of those who, initially, thought that there had been a ghastly mistake. It was fascinating to watch as she came to the realization that the trusted companion, from a crisis center, was a monster. Rule held her emotions in check, when It must have made her skin crawl to remember her experiences. This book was the making of her career. It is the First but not the Last word on the Bundy Case. It does whet the appetite to read more.

25 people found this helpful

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The true-crime Master has done it again.

Any additional comments?

Ann Rule sets the standard for true-crime books. I have yet to discover another author that comes close. If it is by Ann Rule, you know you are getting the very best, and you will be sucked in and taken away into another universe.

She does meticulous research the reader benefits from, and she adds a depth to the telling of the facts that comes from very deep understanding of her topic. Over decades of focusing on true crime, she has perfected the art of telling these stories like no one ever has.

This work is unique in that Ann actually knew the serial killer personally, had worked with him and maintained ties of friendship with him even after his trouble with the law began. So she had more than a bird's eye view, more than police records and media articles. That aspect - her own emotional involvement - adds another layer of interest but does not get in the way of her strict discipline in relating the facts and unfolding the story, to her credit.

There's no way you can go wrong with this book. Treat yourself.

16 people found this helpful

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Best to just use Wikipedia

I have several points to distaste for this book and audible reading. Any writing about Ted Bundy is going to be interesting--the story practically writes itself. This is my first Ann Rule book and, though I understand the selling point of her relationship with Ted Bundy, I found her constant comments on herself to be self-important. When she describes the moments in which she felt that she could have saved Bundy, have gotten him to confess more than the detectives had, or had sent gifts and letters to him as if they were special friends, I wonder. I really wonder. Does she see that she's serving the same role that all these other women who fluttered after Bundy did? That she is not so different from Meg, Sharon, Carolanne? That she is one in a long list of women who thought they could save Ted Bundy and turn him straight? So that is my assessment of the book itself.

Of the reading, though, I found Lorelei syrupy. She uses female and male voices and always makes the non-narrator females sound like adolescent females and the male voices to sound garish and obnoxious. I had to speed up the text reading (thankful for that ability) by 10% because she took forever to get words out. Her mocked voices detracted from the story, for me. I'm going to finish the book, because I want to understand the story, but I would have pursued a different option if I had known it would be so passively irritating.

3 people found this helpful

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Bundy was a psychopath killer, not a “great guy”

Ann Rule’s detail about the life of Ted Bundy is very interesting and insightful . A thrilling story. However, Ann Rule seems to be as narcissistic as Ted. Many times the story seems to be more about her then a horrible killer. Less Ann and this would have been a great book. Ted Bundy is one the most evil humans ever to walk the earth. Lets not forget that.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Petra
  • 06-25-19

LOVED IT !!

Brilliant book! Very interesting story, well told, excellent narration. Without doubt THE BEST real crime book I have ever read/listened to.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 05-06-19

This book (Ann) Rules

My third Ann Rule book listened to through audible! Lorelei King’s delivery and pacing is great and Ann Rule has a perfect writing method that translates to audio!

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. papakonstantinou
  • 09-11-20

I just cant get past the narrators voice.

Listening to this woman do an impersonation of every character in this book just became so annoying, I couldn't continue. It was just too much.

2 people found this helpful

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  • steviecuddles
  • 12-06-19

Fantastic listen

Buy this audio book it’s really compelling listening I loved the narration as well, brilliant.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 11-23-19

Captivating

Beautifully Narrated, methodical, orderly. interesting and informative. highly recommended read, will be reading more of this Authors books

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jill Desborough
  • 10-29-19

Fascinating but chilling read

Lorelei King reads this book so well. Its a fascinating read, though obviously not a comfortable one. The writers growing conflicted feelings towards a man who was once a good friend is very interesting and I felt quite ambiguous, and maybe too easy to be judgemental about . A chilling account of the outwardly charming and personable serial killer.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Louise M
  • 05-01-19

Interesting and shocking in parts.

Weĺl narrated. A horrifying incite into the mind and life of this serial killer who terrified and murdered women over decades.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anne
  • 04-18-19

Good listen

Read the book and have been awaiting it's release as an audio book...which I have enjoyed...if that's the right word!...more, Bundy was evil itself but Ann Rule manages to let us see the other side to him, I believe she has now died but what a legacy she leaves us , a powerful insight into the mind of Bundy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie Bedson
  • 09-19-20

A great LONG listen

I heard about this from a true crime group om part of. It lived up to the hype. It's long so great for people like me who listen yo these things when cleaning and need a distraction. the writer was close the Ted so you get a new perspective on an old and well known true crime story

1 person found this helpful

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  • Diwotti
  • 05-28-20

Not for me.

This book is about 5 hours too long. I know that the author was a friend of Ted Bundy, but too much compassion was shown for the killer and not enough for the victims and their families. The book portrays Ted Bundy as some kind of hero instead of a ruthless killer. I struggled to finish it. Not for me I'm afraid.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-19

Can’t stand the narrator’s tone!!

it’s probably a good read but I just can’t bear the narrator’s sing song tones. Aaarrgh!!! Had to stop in the first chapter.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-19

Narrator ruins an amazing story

Struggled to finish because the narrator sounds like she's half asleep and bored. Really disappointing for such an incredible story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • david
  • 09-22-21

Voiceover

The book is great but the narrators voice over is killing the vibe. The story is amazing but I wish she wouldn’t attempt to do male voices

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  • Soraya Harris
  • 06-11-21

Gripping insight

I’ve always had a fascination with true crime, but this book has highlighted how much podcasts and Netflix specials skim the surface. Don’t get me wrong, they are great for an hour, but this book was such incredible insight into the personal experience of Ann Rule and the internal monologue that followed her as the case against her friend Ted escalated.

This is wonderfully written, and the narrator is clear, timeless and easy to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-31-21

Gripping!

So well written and performed, I wanted to listen to something that would take my mind off the boring daily treadmill exercise and this exceeded my hopes! Didn’t want it to end, a really measured but gripping story. Highly recommended.
(One tiny tiny criticism: narrators don’t need to do every female vocalisation in a higher pitched, babyish, vulnerable pitch. That just becomes embarrassing, especially when it’s a female with a strong voice narrating.)

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  • Rita Oram
  • 11-17-20

Had a hard job to listen to the voice

She went on about her self so much. kept listening thinking that it was going to get better but it didn’t.!! Wouldn’t recommend this audiobook

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