Looking for a new thrilling audiobook to help beat the heat this summer? AudioFile’s Editors have chosen seven audiobooks that will keep you listening—whether you’re looking for something to enjoy at the beach or to keep you company on the long road trip to get there. Choose from a fast-paced political thriller like the full-cast production of THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER to keep you entertained or intense crime fiction like Karin Slaughter’s FALSE WITNESS. Looking for something on the cozier side? Give ARSENIC AND ADOBO a try, and enjoy your mystery with a side of mouthwatering Filipino treats. Check out the full list below and start your summer off with excellent audiobook listening.
THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER
by James Patterson, Bill Clinton| Read by Tony Goldwyn, Mary Stuart Masterson, Fajer Al-Kaisi, Amanda Dolan, Dion Graham, Peter Ganim, January LaVoy, Jeremy Davidson, Soneela Nankani
[Hachette Audio | 14.5 hrs.]
A diverse and experienced cast come together to maximize the drama laced throughout Patterson and Clinton’s political thriller. Former U.S. President Matthew Keating goes off the grid in search of his kidnapped daughter. Goldwyn does an excellent job of conveying Keating’s Southern accent, grit, and masculinity. January LaVoy and Amanda Dolan work together to depict the equally strong women, current President Pamela Barnes and teenage kidnapping victim Melanie Keating.
by David Yoon| Read by Kevin R. Free, Vyvy Nguyen
[Penguin Audio | 10.75 hrs.]
Kevin R. Free and Vyvy Nguyen narrate this work of speculative fiction that examines the complex role social media plays in our lives. Nguyen narrates the first and last chapters, leaving Free to do the majority of the narration. His strength as a narrator comes near the climax, when the story morphs into an all-out action thriller that shifts among multiple points of view, with the emotions of each character swinging wildly. Free’s tone and pitch ensure that listeners will feel the intensity, and near the end his almost breathless delivery makes it impossible to stop listening.
THE QUIET BOY
by Ben H. Winters| Read by William DeMeritt
[Hachette Audio | 12.75 hrs.]
Narrator William DeMeritt is the perfect match for this compelling audiobook—a mix of legal thriller and family drama with a touch of sci-fi told in alternating storylines. In 2008, 16-year-old Wesley Keener is frozen in time after a neurological procedure leaves him a hollow shell. A malpractice lawyer helps the family sue the hospital, kicking off a complicated investigation. In 2019, the lawyer is again hired by the family, this time to defend Wesley’s father from a murder charge. DeMeritt expertly captures the cast of characters and their traits: quirky, dark, passionate, and desperate. Listeners will think about this fast-paced and twisted story long after finishing it.
THE BONE CODE
by Kathy Reichs| Read by Linda Emond
[Simon & Schuster Audio | 9.75 hrs.]
Narrator Linda Emond capably reprises the role of forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan in the latest installment of this long-running crime series. When a barrel containing two bodies washes ashore in Charleston following a coastal storm, Tempe discovers a disturbing connection with a cold case in Québec. Emond’s mature timbre anchors the stalwart anthropologist as she follows leads across the American Southeast and Québec. Emond’s performance mirrors the story’s forward drive while giving space for astute listeners to participate in solving the puzzle.
by Karin Slaughter| Read by Kathleen Early
[Blackstone Audio | 18.5 hrs.]
Narrator Kathleen Early dramatically brings the main characters to life in this dark and disturbing story. Leigh Coulton and her younger sister, Calli, are haunted by a violent act from their past. Leigh is now a criminal defense attorney, while Calli has become a drug addict. Early does an excellent job of differentiating the characters, and through pace and tone, she drives the nonstop intensity—including graphic depictions of violence, an addict’s daily challenges, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on life and work.
by Laura Lippman| Read by Jason Culp
[Harper Audio | 8.75 hrs.]
Lippman’s ingenious, allusive, and daring new thriller makes for a massively entertaining audiobook. Narrator Jason Culp creates vivid characters and delivers emotion, color, humor, and momentum with skill and verve. The setup: Famous (if fading) novelist Gerry Anderson, confined to bed by an injury, starts getting threatening calls from a nonexistent person, claiming to be a character from his breakout novel, DREAM GIRL. Lippman pulls off a whiz-bang plot on top of a deliciously accurate portrait of the good, bad, and ugly of being a brand-name 21st-century writer.
ARSENIC AND ADOBO
by Mia P. Manansala| Read by Danice Cabanela
[Penguin Audio | 9.5 hrs.]
Danice Cabanela is the perfect narrator for this cozy mystery. Lila Macapagal is committed to rejuvenating her Tita Rosie’s restaurant, but her food critic ex-boyfriend, Derek, runs a smear campaign to ruin its reputation. When Derek dies in their restaurant, the Macapagals find themselves under investigation. Cabanela’s charming voice adeptly portrays characters with diverse backgrounds, and is especially commendable voicing Lila and her Filipino-American relatives. Listeners will savor this treat, a fun start to a new cozy mystery series.
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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