What better way to celebrate fall than with new excellent suspenseful listening? We have recommendations for thrilling, creepy, and mysterious audiobooks below, all standout listens that earned AudioFile’s Earphones Award. Read on to discover each new recommendation.
Justine Lupe brings a beloved Stephen King character, Holly Gibney, vividly to life with her narration. When a distraught mother with a missing daughter calls Holly’s investigative agency for help, quirky, brilliant Holly takes the case. She soon finds connections to other missing people and is drawn into a world of pure evil. Listeners will feel like they are part of a true-crime podcast as Lupe transports them to this relentless nightmare. Stephen King delivers his author’s note, adding to this amazing listening experience.
This thrilling audiobook, delivered by a stunning ensemble, will hook listeners through each twist to the very end. Jane, portrayed by Yu-Li Alice Shen, is a self-described sociopath. Shen’s deep voice and acerbic tone perfectly convey Jane’s spontaneous violent thoughts and obsessions, especially toward Thalia. Thalia takes Jane under her wing during their MFA program at Oxford—until one violent night tears them apart. Saskia Maarleveld portrays Thalia with innocence and authenticity, while Leiana Bertrand and Eunice Wong’s narrations bookend the audiobook with additional perspectives.
THE STOLEN COAST
By Dwyer Murphy | Read by Robert Petkoff
AudioFile Earphones Award
Penguin Audio | 7 hrs.
Robert Petkoff is the perfect narrator for this quirky heist novel. When questionable people like mobsters, crooks, or others in dire straits need to disappear, Jack Betancourt is their go-to guy. His ex-girlfriend, Elena, herself a shady operator, returns to Onset, Jack’s tiny Massachusetts beach town, with a plan for a daring heist. Petkoff captures every nuance and subtlety of author Murphy’s stylish writing. Well-defined characters; an attention-grabbing, highly original plot; and Petkoff’s superb performance make this an audiobook not to miss.
William Hope narrates this first novel in a series featuring the fascinating Ben Koenig, a former U.S. Marshall who once specialized in finding anybody but has disappeared six years ago. Now Koenig finds himself the focus of a manhunt initiated by a frantic father who wants him for one more mission. Hope’s portrayal is pure perfection. Nothing fazes Koenig, so each discovery and dangerous moment is narrated by Hope with the perfect blend of sarcasm and ennui. Hope manages to convey Koenig as unemotional and practical while taking listeners on a wild, terrifying ride.
WITH A KISS WE DIE
By L.R. Dorn| Read by Thérèse Plummer, January LaVoy, Lucas Cheng, Kirsten Høj, Vikas Adam, Lisa Flanagan, Gabra Zackman, Fred Berman, Lauren Fortgang, Hillary Huber, Dan Bittner, et al.
AudioFile Earphones Award
Harper Audio | 9.5 hrs.
Thérèse Plummer leads a full cast with her captivating performance as true-crime podcast host Ryanna Raines. When the bodies of a husband and wife are found brutally stabbed, their son and his girlfriend are suspects, and they offer exclusive interviews to Raines. Narrator Lauren Fortgang gives shocked reactions to the unfolding story in her role as Raines’s production partner, while Dan Bittner and Hillary Huber are outstanding in their supporting roles as attorneys. Kirsten Høj and Lucas Cheng capture the romantic chemistry between the two suspects. The impressive group of 21 narrators includes current UCSB acting students.
AudioFile Spotlight: Mystery & Suspense Audiobooks