Top 10 Audiobooks Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind
By Lisa Regan
What makes an outstanding audiobook? It’s the combination of a great story and a narrator who can deliver every line of the book in the perfect tone, at the perfect pace, and sometimes even in the perfect accent. A narrator can make or break your audiobook experience. Below are my top ten favorite audiobooks which combine their authors’ gripping storytelling with flawless narration guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
In Silent Scream, we meet Marsons’ tough, no-nonsense DI Kim Stone who, despite her bristly personality, has a heart of gold. Narrated beautifully by Jan Cramer, complete with British accent, the first installment of this series finds Stone on the hunt for a serial killer whose crimes span decades after human remains are found on the grounds of a former children’s home. Readers will be shocked by the genius twist at the end.
- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Alice Network is breathtaking. It follows the lives and misfortunes of Eve Gardiner, a young woman spying for the British in Nazi-held France during World War I and Charlie St. Clair, a young woman searching for her cousin in France in the aftermath of World War II. As their lives intersect, they’re forced to face the havoc war has wreaked on their lives. The audiobook is narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. Her performance is exquisite. She moves easily back and forth between Eve’s British accent to Charlie’s American accent. She also reads in the German, French and Scottish accents of minor characters, making this novel even more entertaining than it is on paper.
- Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Stage’s Baby Teeth is a chilling psychological thriller about a mother, Suzette Jensen trying to raise her seven-year-old daughter, Hanna who happens to be psychotic and intensely manipulative. Their domestic situation becomes a shocking cat and mouse game between mother and daughter. Gabra Zackman’s narration makes this novel even more unsettling and disturbing than it is on the page. You’ll find yourself audibly gasping by the end.
- Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Jewell’s Then She Was Gone features a mother, Laurel Mack, living in the aftermath of the disappearance of her fifteen-year-old daughter, Ellie. Ten years after Ellie vanished, strange things begin to happen. There are some truly brilliant twists in this novel and Helen Duff’s masterful narration will have you gripped from the first word to the last.
- The Dry by Jane Harper
The Dry is one of my favorite crime novels of all-time. Set in Australia, Harper carefully unravels the deep, dark mysteries of a small town when Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood best friend, Luke. Falk’s history with Luke and the town is steeped in mystery and long-buried secrets. Stephen Shanahan’s narration brings this atmospheric and unsettling novel to life in a way that will make your heart pound.
- The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty
Another novel set in Australia, Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret threads together the narratives of the lives of three women: Cecelia, Rachel and Tess. These women barely know one another but when Cecelia finds and reads a letter from her husband meant to be opened after his death, the shocking repercussions of its contents reverberate through each woman’s life in ways they could never imagine. Caroline Lee’s sensitive and lovely narration will have you fully swept up into this astonishing story.
- Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker
Walker is a powerhouse of the psychological thriller genre and her Emma In The Night doesn’t disappoint. The teenaged Tanner sisters vanished three years ago. When Cass returns without her sister, Emma, investigator Dr. Abby Winter isn’t buying her version of events. The investigation reveals the disturbing dynamics of a dysfunctional family with secrets even seasoned readers in the genre will find stunning. The narrators, Therese Plummer and Julia Whelan deliver perfectly paced, spine-tingling performances.
- The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney
Gibney’s The Missing Ones introduces us to Irish Detective Lottie Parker, hot on the trail of a killer who left a woman for dead in a cathedral and then hung a man from a tree outside of his home. Gibney keeps the terrifying revelations coming in this dark, twisty mystery. Michele Moran narrates flawlessly with an Irish accent to match that of the protagonist.
- The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
Hutchison’s Butterfly Garden is deliciously creepy. After several missing women are located in a lush private garden kept by the rich owner of a nearby mansion, survivor Maya recounts her brutal and horrifying ordeal for the FBI. As imaginative as it is disturbing, this book will keep you up at night. Lauren Ezzo’s youthful narration as Maya, contrasted with Mel Foster’s reading as a sensitive and discerning male FBI agent, will reach you on a visceral level.
- Ransom River by Meg Gardiner
In Gardiner’s Ransom River, Rory Mackenzie returns to her hometown after years of estrangement only to find herself on the jury of a high-profile murder trial. All hell breaks loose after an attack on the courthouse, and Rory finds herself in mortal danger. Lots of cataclysmic secrets are unearthed in this fast-paced thriller. Angela Dawe’s exceptional narration brings an urgency to the book that will keep you riveted.
Lisa Regan is the USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Detective Josie Quinn series as well as several other crime fiction titles. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master of Education degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and a Boston Terrier called Mr. Phillip. You can find out more about her and her work at www.lisaregan.com