HomeRecommendations & reviewsAudiobooks → Recommended new audiobooks #5

Recommended new audiobooks #5

Written by · Published Jan 22, 2018

The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse, Crisis

CD audiobooks

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders, read by various

“The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body.

“From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm - called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo - and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.”

The Visitors, by Catherine Burns, read by Emma Gregory

“Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John, in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar. Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden. As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.”

Copycat, by Alex Lake, read by Karen Cass

“When an old friend gets in touch, Sarah Havenant discovers that there are two Facebook profiles in her name. One is hers. The other, she has never seen. But everything in it is accurate. Photos of her friends, her husband, her kids. Photos from the day before. Photos of her new kitchen. Photos taken inside her house. And this is just the beginning. Because whoever has set up the second profile has been waiting for Sarah to find it. And now that she has, her life will no longer be her own.”

Blame, by Paul Read, read by Max Dowler

“When his estranged father dies in perplexing circumstances, the discovery of a long-forgotten diary soon plunges a pharmaceutical worker back into the events which lead to his family’s collapse.”

The Angel, by Katerina Diamond, read by Stevie Lacey

“When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

“DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons. When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was?”

Shadows, by Paul Finch, read by Chloe Massey

“As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.

“When Lucy’s patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change. Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life - and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water.”

The Pearl Sister, by Lucinda Riley, read by Stephanie Racine & Rehanna MacDonald

“CeCe D’Apliese has never felt she fitted in anywhere. Following the death of her father, the elusive billionaire Pa Salt - so-called by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe and named after the Seven Sisters star cluster - she finds herself at breaking point.

“Dropping out of art college, CeCe watches as Star, her beloved sister, distances herself to follow her new love, leaving her completely alone. In desperation, she decides to flee England and discover her past; the only clues she has are a black-and-white photograph and the name of a woman pioneer who lived in Australia over one hundred years ago.

“En route to Sydney, CeCe heads to the one place she has ever felt close to being herself: the stunning beaches of Krabi, Thailand. There amongst the backpackers, she meets the mysterious Ace, a man as lonely as she is and whom she subsequently realises has a secret to hide.”

The Betrayals, by Fiona Neill, read by various

“Nell Stone is at the peak of her career. Living alone, she is focused and disciplined, refusing to let her personal life creep into her professional one.

“So when Nell receives a letter from Sadie, an old friend, she finds herself in the hardest position of all. Because what Sadie did to Nell years before is unthinkable, and unforgivable. But should the cost of Sadie’s betrayal be her life?”

Winter, by Ali Smith, read by Melody Grove

“Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer’s leaves? Dead litter. The world shrinks; the sap sinks. But winter makes things visible. And if there’s ice, there’ll be fire. In Ali Smith’s Winter, lifeforce matches up to the toughest of the seasons.”

The Last Hours, by Minette Walters, read by Helen Keeley

“June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands. A culture of terror and superstition quickly sweeps across the land as news of the Black Death travels far and wide.

“In the demesne of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people’s future - including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise.”

The Fourteenth Letter, by Claire Evans, read by Maggie Mash

“One balmy June evening in 1881, Phoebe Stanbury stands before the guests at her engagement party: this is her moment, when she will join the renowned Raycraft family and ascend to polite society. As she takes her fiance’s hand, a stranger holding a knife steps forward and ends the poor girl’s life. Amid the chaos, he turns to her aristocratic groom and mouths: ‘I promised I would save you’.

“The following morning, just a few miles away, timid young legal clerk William Lamb meets a reclusive client. He finds the old man terrified and in desperate need of aid: William must keep safe a small casket of yellowing papers, and deliver an enigmatic message: ‘the finder knows’.”

The Picture House by the Sea, by Holly Hepburn, read by Karen Cass

“The little picture house by the sea is the Palace at Polwhipple - a lovely art deco cinema, nestled in front of azure Cornish seas. But it is long past its heyday now, and its only saving grace is Ferelli’s, the family run ice-cream concession in the foyer, which is widely known as the best ice cream for miles.

“So when Ferdie, the owner of Ferelli’s, falls ill, his granddaughter Gina drops everything to come and help out. But when she arrives she is dismayed by the state of the cinema, which she remembers fondly from summer holidays when she was little, and she is determined to give it the makeover it deserves. Along with local builder Ben Pascoe, she sets about reviving the Palace to its former glory.

“But the cinema needs more than a lick of paint. Its very future is under threat from a developer with greed in his eyes. Can Gina save the place before it is too late?”

Truly Evil, by Mark Hardie, read by Rupert Holliday-Evans

“A body has been found dumped on the sandy shores of Southend. Already under scrutiny following the murder of a corrupt cop, DS Frank Pearson and DC Cat Russell of the Essex Major Investigation Team are tasked with solving the case quickly, and quietly.

“When the victim’s identity is revealed, the list of suspects begins to grow. A young woman knows more than she’s letting on, but is she really involved? What about the estranged father, who’s been trying to find the victim for months? One thing is clear: no one is telling the whole truth.”

The Hit, by Anna Smith, read by Sarah Barron

“A money-laundering accountant disappears in Romania. The hitman hired to disappear him is found dead in a Glasgow flat. And the owner of the flat, the accountant’s widow, claims she knows nothing about it.

“Crime reporter Rosie Gilmour isn’t convinced by Helen Lewis’s innocent facade - she is convinced Helen was the one who ordered the hit on her husband, and she’s going to prove it. But when she discovers that Helen’s husband worked for a ring of gangsters selling babies from Romanian orphanages, her focus shifts. Now she has two sets of criminals to bring to justice - she’d better pray they don’t catch up with her first.”

The Sunshine Sisters, written and read by Jane Green

“It was never easy, being one of Ronni Sunshine’s daughters. Publicly, she is the glamorous, successful, dramatic Hollywood actress. Privately, she is self-absorbed, angry, and a disinterested, narcissistic mother.

“Now in her 70s, Ronni has had strange symptoms for a while, but has refused to believe her diagnosis: she has ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease. There is no cure. Ronni’s three adult daughters - Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy - are largely estranged, both from her, and from each other. All are going through crises of their own. But Ronni is adamant that they must come home, and help her take her own life.”

Death of a She Devil, by Fay Weldon, read by Jane Slavin

“Ruth Patchett, the original she devil, is now eighty-four and keen to retire. But who can take up her mantle? Enter Tyler Patchett, our new kind of heroine and Ruth’s grandson. He’s an ultra-confident, 23-year-old man: beautiful, resentful and unemployed. Tyler won’t be satisfied until he can transition into the ultimate symbol of power and status. A woman.”

Felix the Railway Cat, by Kate Moore, read by Kate Lee

“Felix is a much-loved and hugely popular member of staff at Huddersfield Train Station - and also just so happens to be a fluffy feline. By day, she spends her time meowing over the tannoy and getting in the way of the ticket printer. By night, she plays a vital role as their official Pest Control Manager, patrolling the platforms in her high-viz vest.

“But for the close-knit Yorkshire community which Felix is a part of, this remarkable little cat has changed their lives in surprising ways. This book is full of moving stories that show an amazing bond between this very special cat and the station’s staff and commuters.”

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The Dry, by Jane Harper, read by Stephen Shanahan

“After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

“Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.”

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie, read by various

“An international cast of suspects, all passengers on the crowded train, are speeding through the snowy European landscape when a bizarre and terrible murder brings them to an abrupt halt. One of their glittering number lies dead in his cabin, stabbed a mysterious twelve times.

“There is no lack of clues for Poirot - but which clue is real and which is a clever plant? Poirot realises that this time he is dealing with a murderer of enormous cunning and that in a case fraught with fear and inconsistencies only one thing is certain - the murderer is still aboard the train waiting to strike again…”

Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger, read by Sian Thomas

“Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers – normal, at least, for identical ‘mirror’ twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn’t know existed has died and left them her flat in an apartment block overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin.

“But they have no idea that they’ve been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the obsessive-compulsive crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt’s mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the twins’ mother – and who can’t seem to quite leave her flat…”

Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett, read by Nigel Planer

“All is not well within the Unseen University. The endemic politics of the place have ensured that it has finally got what it wished for: the most powerful wizard on the disc. Which could mean that the death of all wizardry is at hand. And the world is going to end, depending on whom you listen to. Unless of course one inept wizard can take the University’s most precious artefact, the very embodiment of magic itself, and deliver it halfway across the disc to safety…”

“G” is for Gumshoe, by Sue Grafton, read by Mary Peiffer

“n this rich, complex and gripping tale, Kinsey Millhone’s grit is tested to its utmost as the private detective unearths the gruesome truth about a long-buried betrayal — and, in the process, comes face-to-face with the grisly fact of her own mortality. “

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Darker, by E L James, read by Zachary Webber

“Their scorching, sensual affair ended in heartbreak and recrimination, but Christian Grey cannot get Anastasia Steele out of his mind, or his blood. Determined to win her back, he tries to suppress his darkest desires and his need for complete control, and to love Ana on her own terms.

“But the horrors of his childhood still haunt him, and Ana’s scheming boss, Jack Hyde, clearly wants her for himself. Can Christian’s confidant and therapist, Dr. Flynn, help him face down his demons? Or will the possessiveness of Elena, his seducer, and the deranged devotion of Leila, his former submissive, drag Christian down into the past?

“And if Christian does win Ana back, can a man so dark and damaged ever hope to keep her?”

Crisis, by Frank Gardner, read by John Sackville

“Introducing Luke Carlton – ex-Special Boat Service commando, and now under contract to MI6 for some of its most dangerous missions.

“Sent into the steaming Colombian jungle to investigate the murder of a British intelligence officer, Luke finds himself caught up in the coils of a plot that has terrifying international dimensions. Hunted down, captured, tortured and on the run from one of South America’s most powerful and ruthless drugs cartels and its psychotic leader thirsting for revenge, Luke is in a life-or-death race against time to prevent a disaster on a truly terrifying scale: London is the target, the weapon is diabolical and the means of delivery is ingenious.”

Revelation, by C. J. Sansom, read by various

“Spring, 1543. London’s streets are filled with preachers; strange signs and portents are seen everywhere; and young men, maddened by differing interpretations of the Bible, are drawn into dangerous fundamentalism.

“The family of one such man, Adam Kite, has sought help from lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Adam is suffering from religious mania, and is being held in Bedlam for his own safety. But Shardlake is distracted from the case when his friend Roger Elliard is found brutally murdered – the victim of a serial killer inspired by the Book of Revelation.

“Archbishop Cranmer asks Shardlake to conduct a secret investigation: no word of the bloodshed must reach the King as one of the dead men was close to Catherine Parr, Henry’s latest romantic obsession and (like Cranmer) a supporter of religious reform.

“With the help of trusty sidekick Barack, Shardlake embarks on his most dangerous investigation yet, as he tries to protect Adam and prevent the killer from fulfilling his unholy mission…”

The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse, by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Rupert Degas

“Val was working as a land girl when the Americans arrived at the nearby airfield in 1944. Mike, a young American airman, came into her life soon after, and so too did Peter Woodhouse, a dog badly treated on a neighbouring farm and taken in by her aunt. Little persuasion was needed for Mike to take Peter Woodhouse to the airbase and over time he became the mascot of the American squad, flying with them whenever their Mosquitoes took to the skies.

“When their plane is shot down over Holland both Mike and Peter Woodhouse are feared lost. But unknown to their loved ones at home, Mike and Peter Woodhouse survived the crash. Taken in by the Dutch resistance and with the help of Ubi, a German officer, the pair to remain in hiding till the end of the war when they are reunited with Val.

“We then follow Val, Mike and Peter Woodhouse as they rebuild a life in England. And Ubi as he returns to Germany at the end of the war and tries to build a new life for himself. His dream is to run a Wall of Death, a circus ring that pitts motorcyclists against gravity as they attempt to stay upright at ever increasing speed…”

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.