Discover captivating romantic suspense and domestic thrillers from AudioFile Magazine’s team of reviewers. The audiobooks below will have you on the edge of your seat as the skilled narrators balance the tension of murder investigations, the thrill of delving into criminal conspiracies, and the roller coaster ride of romance.
Some of the audiobooks feature the joy of falling in love while on the case—and some show how romantic relationships can go horribly wrong. There’s something for every listener this February, whether you’re looking to join an investigation with Lady Charlotte Holmes or dive into the sinister history—and present—of gentrifying Brooklyn. No matter the audiobook, you can count on the narrators to keep you glued to your earbuds to find out what happens next.
by KJ Charles| Read by Cornell Collins
[Tantor Media | 7 hrs.]
Cornell Collins narrates a pulp-inspired romantic thriller set in post-WWI England. Will Darling is a retired soldier and Welshman who has inherited a bookshop from his uncle. When he begins receiving threats, he realizes there is more afoot than the arcane prices of secondhand books. Collins ratchets up the tension as the story progresses from mildly mysterious happenings to dangerous goings-on; increasing suspense is reflected in his portrayals of Will and his striking paramour, Kim, in particular.
WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING
by Alyssa Cole| Read by Susan Dalian, Jay Aaseng
[Harper Audio | 8.5 hrs.]
Susan Dalian and Jay Aaseng’s skilled vocal ranges complement witty prose and a plot that cleverly dramatizes racial injustices. Sydney, voiced by Dalian, creates a walking tour to retain her rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood’s history. Sydney’s new neighbor Theo, narrated by Aaseng, joins to help her with her tour. As they research, they uncover horrors that are more than historical, and they’re catapulted into a state of fear. Listeners will be gripped by the performance and the romantic and thrilling story from an author much loved by romance readers.
by Cara C. Putman| Read by Siiri Scott
[Thomas Nelson | 11 hrs.]
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
Siiri Scott masterfully narrates this romantic thriller. Savannah is a lawyer who is working with an aeronautics company on a new black box invention. The venture becomes personal when a plane goes down and people associated with her ex-husband are killed. Scott portrays Savannah in a smoky, confident voice. As Savannah’s niece is pulled into peril, Savannah is moved to investigate, and Scott rises to the occasion with added intensity. Scott’s outstanding narration makes this story invigorating listening.
A WOMAN ALONE
by Nina Laurin| Read by Chloe Cannon
[Hachette Audio | 8.25 hrs.]
Chloe Cannon narrates this domestic thriller with impeccable pacing and a perfect mix of disbelief, fear, and desperation. After a violent encounter, Cecelia and Scott Holmes move into a Smart Tech home. The house keeps them safe in all manner of ways, and everything should be perfect, but Cecelia begins to believe the house is out to get her. Fast-paced and imaginative, this story will make listeners second-guess their own use of technology.
by Nora Roberts| Read by January LaVoy
[Macmillan Audio | 15.75 hrs.]
Narrator January LaVoy brings a richly layered performance to this romantic thriller. At age 10, Hollywood royalty Caitlyn Sullivan is taken from her family home. She escapes and seeks refuge at a local farm, where she is found by a boy named Dillon Cooper. As the story takes Caitlyn and Dillon from childhood to their teen years and to adulthood, LaVoy ages her voice, bringing more maturity at each stage. Adding an additional level of enjoyment is LaVoy’s depiction of Caitlyn’s profession: voice actress. How fun!
MURDER ON COLD STREET
by Sherry Thomas| Read by Kate Reading
[Penguin Audio | 13.25 hrs.]
Nefarious deeds are afoot in the latest Lady Charlotte Holmes mystery, beautifully narrated by Kate Reading. Inspector Treadles has been caught holding a revolver in a room with two men who were shot dead. Both men worked for the company recently inherited by Treadles’s wife. Surely, Lady Charlotte’s collaborator isn’t guilty of murder? Reading is in fine voice, offering a mellow, warm, and amused performance to match the wry wit and voluptuousness of the writing. Voluptuous because Miss Holmes likes sweets and her colleague Lord Ingram as much as she likes detecting.
HIS & HERS
by Alice Feeney| Read by Richard Armitage, Stephanie Racine
[Macmillan Audio | 10.5 hrs.]
Richard Armitage and Stephanie Racine give an arresting performance of this dark psychological thriller. Many stories have multiple perspectives, but how do we know who is telling the truth? This multilayered work is told from three perspectives—his, hers, and the killer’s. “His” is Detective Jack Harper’s point of view, voiced by Armitage. “Hers” is newsreader Anna Andrews’s, voiced by Racine. The unknown killer is voiced by Armitage, and the creepy distortion added to it enhances the twisted plot. Armitage and Racine shine with impeccable pacing, building tension that adds to the suspense.
THE SAFE PLACE
by Anna Downes| Read by Anna Downes
[Macmillan Audio | 10.5 hrs.]
A captivating narration by author Anna Downes adds that extra spark to her neo-gothic novel. After losing her acting job, her agent, and her apartment, Emily gets a promising job as a housekeeper/girl Friday for her former boss, Scott, at his remote French estate, Querencia. Downes knows her characters and delivers them with professional expertise, original plotting, and a masterful performance. She creates an uneasy atmosphere, adding layers of uncertainty that cause Emily (and the listener) to question reality. Chilling. Disturbing. A nail-biter to the end.
AudioFile Magazine—About: AudioFile is the place to discover more about audiobooks. Every day, its reviews and recommendations tell you which audiobooks are worth your listening time. AudioFile reviews about 50 audiobooks a week, features narrator profiles, and awards exceptional performances with AudioFile’s Earphones Awards. AudioFile publishes in print, newsletters, and a blog, and podcasts daily recommendations on Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine.
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