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Find more Top 10 Crime Fiction Audiobooks
Audiobook fans may recognize that many of the selections on this year’s list are series titles read by narrators familiar with the characters and settings. But whether series titles or not, the audios all feature good stories, high production values, and superlative narrators.
Bleed for Me. By Michael Robotham. Read by Sean Barrett. 2012. 12hr. AudioGO, CD, $69.99 (9781611131420); DD, $49.99 (9781611131437).
Barrett excels in conveying the characters and the dangerous tone in this dark and twisting tale, set in Bath, England.
Believing the Lie. By Elizabeth George. Read by Davina Porter. 2012. 21hr. Recorded Books, CS, $123.75 (9781464013256); CD, $123.75 (9781464006395); DD, $67.75 (9781464006418).
Speaking in dulcet tones and a lovely British accent, Porter superbly narrates George’s seventeenth series title, in which Detective Inspector Lynley is called to Cumbria to investigate a drowning.
The Four Just Men. By Edgar Wallace. Read by Bill Homewood. 2011. 4.5 hr. Naxos, CD, $28.98 (9781843794554).
Fans of classic mysteries and thrillers will rejoice in Homewood’s exceptional reading of this dramatic tale (published in 1905), centering on the activities of four wealthy European men who take justice into their own hands.
The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam. By Chris Ewan. Read by Simon Vance. 2011. 7hr. AudioGO, CD, $64.95 (9780792778400).
This first series title featuring a British mystery author who works as a thief for hire is competently read by Vance, who easily shifts accents while breezing through the nonstop action of this delightful caper.
Iron House. By John Hart. Read by Scott Sowers. 2011. 14hr. Macmillan, CD, (9781427212238).
Good character development and an intriguing backstory raise this thriller above standard shoot-out fare, with Sowers keeping listeners on edge as the lives of two adult brothers, a Mob hit man and an author, intersect.
The Leopard. By Jo Nesbo. Read by Robin Sachs. 2011. 21.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $45 (9780307917621).
Norwegian police detective Harry Hole is trying to decompress from the case detailed in The Snowman (2011), also available from Books on Tape, when he learns that another serial killer is on the loose. Sachs’ ability to express regional shadings of Norwegian dialects adds to the chilling atmosphere.
Pirate King. By Laurie R. King. Read by Jenny Sterlin. CS, $123.75 (9781449807436); CD, $123.75 (9781449864903); DD, $49.75 (9781461805618).
Sterlin’s portrayals of Sherlock Holmes’ younger, intelligent wife, Mary Russell, and pirates, kidnappers, and captors are conveyed through authentic dialects.
Second Grave on the Left. By Darynda Jones. Read by Lorelei King. 2011. 9.5hr. AudioGO, CD, $39.99 (9781427212436).
Paranormal private eye Charley Davidson returns in this high-energy sequel to First Grave on the Right (also available from AudioGO). King channels Charley to perfection, making the “self-proclaimed badass” sound sassy and feisty as she takes on mobsters, groupies, and lost souls.
Trackers. By Deon Meyer. Read by Simon Vance. 2011. HighBridge, CD, $84 (9781611745559).
The lives of three strangers intertwine in Meyer’s seventh novel, set in Zimbabwe and confidently read by Vance, who makes quick transitions between the dialects of characters from South Africa, the U.S., and India.
A Trick of the Light. By Louise Penny. Read by Ralph Cosham. 2011. 12hr. Macmillan, CD, $36.99 (9781427213204).
Narrating in a French Canadian accent and with rhythmic pacing, Cosham helps us visualize the characters and setting when Inspector Armand Gamache becomes embroiled in a murder investigation after the discovery of an art critic’s body on the front lawn of an artist.
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