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Recommended new audiobooks #13

Written by · Published Sep 26, 2018

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, This Love

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The Blood Road, by Stuart MacBride, read by Steve Worsley

“Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he’s policing his fellow officers. When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

“As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead? But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers - and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried.”

Day of the Dead, by Nicci French, read by Beth Chalmers

“On a north London high street, a runaway vehicle crashes to a halt. The man in the driving seat was murdered a week earlier. On Hampstead Heath, a bonfire blazes: in the flames lies the next victim. As autumn leaves fall, a serial killer runs amok in the capital, playing games with the police. The death toll is rising fast, and the investigation is floundering.

“But this is no ordinary killer, and every new victim is intended as a message to just one woman. Because psychologist Frieda Klein is in hiding. And someone is coming to find her.”

Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling, by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen, read by Amy McAllister

“Aisling is 29. She’s living at home in Ballygobbard with her parents, commuting to her mid-level administrative job at Pensions Plus up in Dublin. She’s the only one who knows how to work the fax machine, always has paracetamol for her co-workers and is the queen of passive-aggressive notes about the state of the dishes in the kitchen. Aisling goes out every Saturday night with Majella, her very best friend and loyal confidante. Twice a week, Aisling spends the night at her boyfriend Generic John’s house.

“But Aisling wants more. She wants a ring on her finger. She wants to live with GJ. When a week in Tenerife with GJ doesn’t end with the expected engagement, Aisling presents him with an ultimatum.”

The Last of Us, by Harriet Cummings, read by Maggie Mash

“82-year-old Nettie still hears the occasional gossiping, but most have forgotten what she did. Now, living alone in a run-down farmhouse, she surrounds herself with memories of her late husband and estranged daughter Catherine.

“When Catherine’s friend James appears out of the blue, Nettie is grateful for the company and keen to learn more about her daughter. But soon James starts asking Nettie questions she doesn’t want to answer; about some things she can’t remember and others she’s tried to forget. As her memory fails her, how can Nettie be certain she did the terrible things everyone says she did?”

The Lost Village, by Neil Spring, read by Louise Jameson

“The remote village of Imber - remote, lost and abandoned. The outside world hasn’t been let in since soldiers forced the inhabitants out, much to their contempt. But now, a dark secret threatens all who venture near. Everyone is in danger, and only Harry Price can help. Reluctantly reunited with his former assistant Sarah Grey, he must unlock the mystery of Imber, and unsurface the secrets someone thought were long buried. But will Sarah’s involvement be the undoing of them both?”

The Man Between, by Charles Cumming, read by Charlie Anson

“Successful novelist Kit Carradine has grown restless. So when British Intelligence invite him to enter the secret world of espionage, he willingly takes a leap into the unknown.

“But the glamour of being a spy is soon tainted by fear and betrayal, as Carradine finds himself in Morocco on the trail of Lara Bartok - a mysterious fugitive with links to international terrorism. Bartok is a leading figure in Resurrection, a violent revolutionary movement whose brutal attacks on prominent right-wing politicians have spread hatred and violence throughout the West.

“As the coils of a ruthless plot tighten around him, Carradine finds himself drawn to Lara. Caught between competing intelligence services who want her dead, he soon faces an awful choice: to abandon Lara to her fate or to risk everything trying to save her.”

Death Notice, by Zhou Haohui & Zac Haluza (trans.), read by Joel de la Fuente

“Online, a vigilante announces their intention of meting out justice for unpunished crimes. Users are invited to submit names for judgement. Those found guilty will be sentenced. And there is just one punishment: death. Despite publishing the name of each victim and the date of execution - their death notice - the police are simply unable to stop the killer. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is assembled, comprising a criminal psychologist, a SWAT captain, an Online Surveillance Officer and Detective Luo Fei.

“As they pursue the killer, the SIT will be drawn ever deeper into dark and dangerous territory. What is the connection to a highly classified eighteen-year-old case that saw two similar ‘death notice’ murders? What is Detective Luo’s personal connection to that case? And finally, what crimes might the members of the SIT be guilty of? And what will they do to keep them secret?”

A Long Island Story, by Rick Gekoski, read by Kerry Shale

“It is 1953, a heat wave is sweeping across America and the Grossmans - Ben, Addie and their two children - are moving their lives from the political heart of Washington DC to suburban Long Island. Benny was a successful lawyer in the Department of Justice, but all that has come tumbling down. With the McCarthy era of paranoia, persecution and propaganda at its height, his past has come back to haunt him, forcing him to pack up his family and leave the capital behind.

“With their future uncertain, life in Long Island starts to open old wounds for Ben and Addie. Both start to wonder if they were meant for more, whether their future might look different than they planned, and whether their marriage - their family - is worth fighting for.”

Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous, by Manu Joseph, read by Chetan Pathak

“A building collapses in Mumbai. In the debris is a man who is mumbling something in delirium. It appears that he is passing on the real-time movements of a young Muslim couple. Elsewhere, a young intelligence agent is assigned to shadow two terror suspects, one of whom is a teenager and the sweetheart of her street, Laila.

“Taking up a slice of recent history, the novel glares at the entire system - not just politicians, the bureaucracy, the police and lackeys, but also the good folks.”

The Last Family in England, by Matt Haig, read by Mark Meadows

“Meet the Hunter family - Adam, a teacher, his wife Kate, and their children Hal, 17, and Charlotte, 13. When a new couple move into their street, Adam is besotted with Emily, the beautiful aromatherapist, while her husband Simon seems to have played a significant part in Kate’s past.”

The Love Letter, by Lucinda Riley, read by Camilla Rockley

“1995, London. When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of 95, he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, so devastating that it could rock the English establishment to its core.

“Joanna Haslam is an ambitious young journalist, assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral. The great and the good of the celebrity world are there. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind, the contents of which others have been desperate to conceal for over 70 years.

“As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realises that there are other forces attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does.”

The Temptation of Gracie, by Santa Montefiore, read by Rachel Atkins

“Gracie Burton is a grandmother, living quietly in Devon. She has rarely left the village over the past 40 years. Her daughter, Carina, is immensely high-powered with her own fast-paced business in London. She has very little time for her 17-year-old daughter, Anastasia, away at boarding school, and even less time for her aging mother. In many ways, the three of them barely know each other.

“Then Gracie stumbles upon an advertisement for a week-long cookery course in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. She cannot resist and ploughs her life savings into the trip. Carina and Anastasia accompany her. They have no idea why Gracie has been drawn to this venture. They have no sense of her past; she has never spoken about it. They have no idea that Gracie is harbouring the secret of an extraordinary life that preceded them.”

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The Colours of all the Cattle, by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Adjoa Andoh

“Mma Ramotswe’s friend will persuade her to stand for election to the City Council. ‘We need women like her in politics,’ Mma Potokwani says, ‘instead of having the same old men every time…’

“To be elected, Mma Ramotswe must have a platform and some policies. She will have to canvas opinion. She will have to get Mma Makutsi’s views. Her slogan is ‘I can’t promise anything - but I shall do my best’. Her intention is to halt the construction of the Big Fun Hotel, a dubious, flashy business near a graveyard - an act that many consider to be disrespectful.

“Mma Ramotswe will take the campaign as far as she can, but lurking around the corner, as ever, is the inextinguishable Violet Sephotho.”

Widows, by Lynda La Plante, read by Ann Mitchell

“Harry Rawlins had been masterminding robberies for 20 years. The hijack of a security van would bring the gang thousands, but the job went wrong and Harry and his team were killed.

“Harry’s widow, Dolly, had three options. She could hand over Harry’s ledgers to the police. She could hand them over to a bunch of thugs. Or she could take the business over.”

Circe, by Madeline Miller, read by Perdita Weeks

“In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

“When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.”

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, by Graeme Macrae Burnet, read by Geoffrey Breton

“Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air.

“When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl’s disappearance, Manfred’s repressed world is shaken to its core, and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past.”

Firefly Summer, by Maeve Binchy, read by Kate Binchy

“Kate Ryan and her husband, John, have a rollicking pub in the Irish village of Mountfern, four lovely children, and such wonderful dreams. But all that changes one fateful summer when American millionaire Patrick O’Neill comes to town with his irresistible charm and money to burn. As love and hate vie for a town’s quiet heart, old traditions begin to crumble away.

“Patrick O’Neill means to build the grand hotel of his dreams, with its promise of wealth and change, but loyalties are challenged, jealousies are ignited, and tragedy strikes before the foundation is even laid. Suddenly the Ryans’ lives are bound up with the newcomer in ways they could never have imagined. And Patrick O’Neill faces his own crisis of conscience and heart as the events he sets in motion take on a life of their own in a town that will never be the same again.”

Corpus, by Rory Clements, read by Adam Sims

“1936. Europe is in turmoil. The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland. In Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror. Spain has erupted in civil war.

“In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers.

“In an exclusive London club, a conspiracy is launched that threatens the very heart of government. When a renowned society couple with fascist leanings are found brutally murdered, a maverick Cambridge professor is drawn into a world of espionage he knows only from history books. The deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he finds to link the murders with the girl with the silver syringe – and even more worryingly to the scandal surrounding the Abdication…”

So Much Life Left Over, by Louis de Bernières, read by Avita Jay & David Sibley

“Rosie and Daniel have moved to Ceylon with their little daughter to start a new life at the dawn of the 1920s, attempting to put the trauma of the First World War behind them, and to rekindle a marriage that gets colder every day. However, even in the lush plantation hills it is hard for them to escape the ties of home and the yearning for fulfilment that threatens their marriage.

“Back in England, Rosie’s three sisters are dealing with different challenges in their searches for family, purpose and happiness. These are precarious times, and they find themselves using unconventional means to achieve their desires. Around them the world is changing, and when Daniel finds himself in Germany he witnesses events taking a dark and forbidding turn.”

Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews, read by Jeremy Bobb

“Dominika Egorov, former prima ballerina, is sucked into the heart of Putin’s Russia, the country she loved, and spat out as the twists and turns of betrayal and counter-betrayal unravel.

“American Nate Nash, idealistic and ambitious, handles the double agent, codenamed MARBLE, considered one of the CIA’s biggest assets. He needs to keep his identity secret for as long as the mole can keep supplying golden information.

“Will Dominika be able to unmask MARBLE, or will the mission see her faith destroyed in the country she has always passionately defended?”

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: the untold story of a lost world, by Steve Brusatte, read by Patrick Lawlor

“The world of the dinosaurs has fascinated on book and screen for decades – from early science fiction classics like The Lost World, to Godzilla terrorizing the streets of Tokyo, and the monsters of Jurassic Park. But what if we got it wrong?

“In The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, top dinosaur expert Brusatte tells the real story of how dinosaurs rose to dominate the planet. Using the fossil clues that have been gathered using state of the art technology, Brusatte follows these magnificent creatures from their beginnings in the Early Triassic period, through the Jurassic period to their final days in the Cretaceous and the legacy that they left behind.”

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson, read by Bill Wallis

“Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali.

“Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love?”

The Night Manager, by John le Carré, read by Michael Jayston

“In the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. Jonathan Pine is ready to stand up and be counted in the fight against this ultimate heart of darkness.

“His mission takes him from the cliffs of west Cornwall, via northern Quebec and the Caribbean, to the jungles of post-Noriega Panama. His quarry is the worst man in the world.”

Tell Tale, by Jeffrey Archer, read by Robert Bathurst

Fourteen short stories.

“Find out what happens to the hapless young detective from Naples who travels to an Italian hillside town to solve a murder and the pretentious schoolboy whose discovery of the origins of his father’s wealth changes his life forever. Follow the stories of the woman who dares to challenge the men at her Ivy League university during the 1930s, and another young woman who thumbs a lift and has an encounter of a lifetime.”

End Game, by David Baldacci, read by Kyf Brewer & Orlagh Cassidy

“Will Robie, highly trained assassin and the US government’s most indispensable asset, is called to London.

“An imminent terrorist attack threatens the Underground and with the US next in line, Robie is the perfect choice to stop it before it begins.

“He knows he has one chance to succeed. One chance to save London. One chance to make it safely home to find out what has happened to fellow agent Jessica Reel following their last deadly mission together.

“But Robie is about to learn that even if he succeeds, the worst is yet to come.”

Putney, by Sofka Zinovieff, read by Annie Aldrington

“Ralph Boyd’s first glimpse of Daphne will be etched on his mind forever. Dark, teasing, slippery as mercury, she seems neither boy nor girl, but sprite – something elemental. An up-and-coming composer, Ralph is visiting the writer Edmund Greenslay at his riverside home in Putney to discuss a collaboration. In its colourful rooms and unruly garden, Ralph finds an intoxicating world of sensuous ease and bohemian abandon that captures the mood of the moment. Entranced, he knows he will return.

“But Ralph is 25 and Daphne is nine, and even in the liberal 1970s a fast-burgeoning relationship between a man and his friend’s daughter must be kept secret. Years later, after a turbulent youth and a failed marriage, Daphne watches her 12-year-old daughter Libby mimic the gestures of adult sexuality, and is forced to confront her own childhood with a new perspective.”

Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch, read by Jon Lindstrom

“In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

“Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined - one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.”

This Love, by Dani Atkins, read by Charlie Sanderson

“Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.

“So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

“One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.

“Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?”

The Something Girl, by Jodi Taylor, read by Lucy Price-Lewis

“It’s life as usual at Frogmorton Farm – which is to say that events have passed the merely eccentric and are now galloping headlong towards the completely bizarre.

“Once again Jenny struggles to stay afloat in the stormy seas of matrimony with her husband, Russell Checkland, together with an unlikely mix of Patagonian Attack Chickens, Jack the Sad Donkey and Mrs Crisp’s mysterious boyfriend. The old favourites are still around, of course. There’s Marilyn the Omnivorous Donkey, Russell’s ex-girlfriend Don’t Call Me Franny and the neurotic Boxer, currently failing to deal with butterfly trauma.

“So nothing much is new … except for the mysterious figure dogging Jenny’s steps and who, if she didn’t know better, she would swear was her sinister cousin Christopher, last seen being hurled from the house by her wayward husband. He couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to come back and try again … could he?”

Lord of Shadows, by Cassandra Clare, read by James Marsters

“Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

“And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear – before it’s too late.”

Watch Over Me, by Daniela Sacerdoti, read by Helen McAlpine

“Eilidh Lawson’s life is in crisis. Years of failed fertility treatments, a cheating husband and an oppressive family have pushed her to the limits. At the end of her tether, she runs away to the one place she thinks she can find solace: her childhood home in the Highlands.

“There, as she struggles to mend her broken life, she reconnects with her childhood friend Jamie McAnena, who is trying to raise his daughter Maisie alone. After Maisie’s mother left to pursue a career in London and Jamie’s own mother, Elizabeth, passed away, he has resigned himself to being a family of two.

“But sometimes there is more to a story than meets the eye. Despite their reluctance, curious circumstances keep bringing Jamie and Eilidh together. For even when it seems all is lost, help can come from the most extraordinary places.”

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The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, by Joël Dicker, read by Robert Slade

“August 30, 1975. The summer Harry Quebert fell in love with fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard along with a manuscript copy of his career-defining novel. Quebert is the only suspect. Marcus Goldman — Quebert’s most gifted protégé — throws off his writer’s block to save his mentor from the electric chair. But with Nola, in death as in life, nothing is ever as it seems.”

The Back Road, by Rachel Abbott, read by Penny McDonald

“A girl lies close to death in a deserted lane. A driver drags her body to the side of the road. A shadowy figure hides in the trees, watching. For Ellie Saunders last night’s hit and run on the back road could destroy everything she has…

“Ellie’s new neighbour, former Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas has moved to the village for some peace and quiet, but as he is drawn into the web of deceit his every instinct tells him that what happened that night was more than a tragic accident.”

Heartburn, by Nora Ephron, read by Meryl Streep

“Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favourite recipes.”

The Lie of the Land, by Amanda Craig, read by Emma Powell

“Quentin and Lottie Bredin can’t afford to divorce, so must downsize and move their three children from London to Devon. Arrogant, adulterous Quentin can’t understand Lottie’s anger, while Lottie feels intolerably wounded. Why is their rent so low? What is the mystery surrounding their unappealing new home? The beautiful landscape conceals a dark side…

“Sally Verity, happily married but unhappily childless, knows a different side to country life, as a Health Visitor and sheep farmer’s wife. When Lottie’s teenage son Xan gets a zero-hours contract at a local pie factory, he sees yet another. At the end of their year, all their lives will be changed for ever…”

Awaken the Giant Within: how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and emotional destiny!, written and read by Anthony Robbins

“Anthony Robbins already has unlocked the personal power inside millions of people worldwide. Now in this revolutionary new audio production based on his enormously popular Date with Destiny™ seminars, Robbins unleashes the sleeping giant that lies within all of us — teaching us to harness our untapped abilities, talents and skills.”

Girl, Wash Your Face: stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be, written and read by Rachel Hollis

“As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

“With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them.”

Moab is my Washpot, written and read by Stephen Fry

“a) A fatuous, wasted, degenerate and wholly useless existence captured in delicate, lyrical and exquisitely realised prose.

“b) Lightly amusing anecdotes and tender reminiscences of the great men and women encountered during a rich, varied and rewarding lifetime, fondly remembered in the tranquil evening of a career of public service.

“c) The autobiography of a dizzying life fuelled by the lust for power and the search for ever more degrading downward paths of repulsive sexual adventuring and self-destructive debaucheries: the unrepentant libertine author seeks revenge on his many enemies and tears the lid off the private life of blameless churchmen and librarians.

“Fry’s autobiography is all and none of these. Too old to rock and roll, too young to die, the author looks back with bruising frankness at his life so far.”

The Infinite Sea, by Rick Yancey, read by Ben Yannette

“For Cassie Sullivan and the rest of Earth’s remaining human survivors, the situation was already desperate when the 5th Wave hit. It’s about to get worse.

“No one yet knows the depths to which Earth’s conquerors — the Others — will sink in order to rid the Earth of the human infestation, nor have they guessed the heights to which the human spirit can reach. Characters introduced in Book One will come to the fore—and others will face the ultimate test.”

The Battle of Britain, from the BBC Archives

“First-hand accounts featuring the RAF pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain - one of the chief turning points of World War Two.

“With news bulletins, reportage, personal accounts from the ground crews, and excerpts from Churchill’s famous speeches, this recording undeniably shows why, for the victorious RAF pilots, “This was their finest hour.””

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

I work for the Suffolk Libraries stock team. I also write children’s fiction, short stories and comedy. Visit my website.