HomeRecommendations & reviewsAudiobooks → Recommended new audiobooks #6

Recommended new audiobooks #6

Written by · Published Feb 21, 2018

Ikigai, Birdy Flynn

CD audiobooks

Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson, read by Mark Meadows

“A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course. But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why.

“Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for. When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.”

Rather be the Devil, by Ian Rankin, read by James Macpherson

“John Rebus, now a couple of years into his retirement, finds himself drawn into a cold case from the 1970s involving a female socialite, found dead in a bedroom in one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious hotels. It’s a crime over forty years old, but no one was ever found guilty. Now, Rebus has his own reasons to investigate, but it is going to set him against some very dangerous people.”

Insidious Intent, by Val McDermid, read by Saul Reichlin

“When charred human remains are discovered in the driver’s seat of a burning car, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill are brought in to investigate. They soon discover that what appeared to be a terrible accident is, in fact, murder. Delving deeper into the case, they begin the dangerous hunt for a most sinister killer with the power to inflict untold fear and pain on their victims.”

Origin, by Dan Brown, read by Paul Michael

“Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that claims it will change the face of science forever. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a 40-year-old tech magnate whose inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure. Tonight he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.

“But everyone is left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.”

The Keeper of Lost Things, by Ruth Hogan, read by Jane Collingwood

“Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters.”

A Stranger in the House, by Shari Lapeña, read by Tavia Gilbert

“You come home after a long day at work, ready for dinner with your wife. But she’s not there. And it looks like she left in a blind panic. Her mobile phone and her bag are still in the house. You fear the worst. You call the police. And they tell you that your wife’s been in an accident. She lost control of her car as she sped through a street on the worst side of town.

“But why would she go there? Was she running towards something? Away from something? The police think she was up to no good. You refuse to believe it. Then you start to wonder. You’ve been married for three years and you thought you knew her better than anyone on earth. But maybe you don’t.”

Don’t Wake Up, by Liz Lawler, read by Zara Ramm

“Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table. The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor. The choice he forces her to make is utterly unspeakable. But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed - and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind. And then she meets the next victim.”

Together, by Julie Cohen, read by Gemma Whelan

“On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually would. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart.

“As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie’s actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect.”

Blood’s Game, by Angus Donald, read by Damian Lynch

“It is the winter of 1670. Holcroft Blood has entered the employ of the Duke of Buckingham, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom after the king. It is here that his education really begins. With a gift for numbers and decoding ciphers, Holcroft soon proves invaluable to the Duke, but when he’s pushed into a betrayal he risks everything for revenge.

“His father, Colonel Thomas Blood, has fallen on hard times. A man used to fighting, he lives by his wits and survives by whatever means necessary. When he’s asked to commit treason by stealing the crown jewels, he puts himself and his family in a dangerous situation - one that may end at the gallows.

“As the machinations of powerful men plot to secure the country’s future, both father and son must learn what it is to survive in a more dangerous battlefield than war - the court of King Charles II. One missed step could prove fatal.”

Dunstan, by Conn Iggulden, read by Geoffrey Beevers

“In the year 937, King Æthelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to throw a great spear into the north. His dream of a kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field and the passage of a single day. At his side is Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit, perhaps enough to damn his soul. His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome - from exile to exaltation.”

After the Fire, by Henning Mankell, read by Sean Barrett

“Fredrik Welin is a 70-year-old retired doctor. Years ago he retreated to the Swedish archipelago, where he lives alone on an island. He swims in the sea every day, cutting a hole in the ice if necessary. He lives a quiet life. Until he wakes up one night to find his house on fire.

“Fredrik escapes just in time, wearing two left-footed wellies, as neighbouring islanders arrive to help douse the flames. All that remains in the morning is a stinking ruin and evidence of arson. The house that has been in his family for generations and all his worldly belongings are gone. He cannot think who would do such a thing, or why. Without a suspect, the police begin to think he started the fire himself.”

Glass Houses, by Louise Penny, read by Adam Sims

“When a mysterious figure appears on the village green on a cold November day in Three Pines, Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, knows something is seriously wrong. Yet he does nothing. Legally, what can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

“From the moment its shadow falls over Three Pines, Gamache suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. When it suddenly vanishes and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.”

Secrets in Death, by J. D. Robb, read by Susan Ericksen

“No one is going to miss Larinda Mars. A ruthless gossip queen with a lucrative sideline in blackmail, there’s no lack of suspects when she’s murdered in a fashionable New York bar. With so many people wanting her dead, it’s going to be a tough case to crack.

“Lieutenant Eve Dallas may not like this particular victim, but it’s her duty to bring the killer to justice. As she digs deeper into Larinda’s mysterious past, it becomes clear the reporter had a unique talent for uncovering secrets. Including ones very close to home for Eve and her husband Roarke. Someone was willing to commit murder to keep their secrets hidden. And with Eve now working to uncover the truth, she and her team are heading into serious danger.”

Secrets of a Happy Marriage, by Cathy Kelly, read by Caroline Lennon

“Any family knows that a special birthday party is the perfect chance to come together, but for the Brannigan clan it’s about more than just raising a glass. Bess is hoping to show everyone just how happy her recent marriage is, but behind all the party-planning the cracks are beginning to show. Why is joining a family so difficult?

“Jojo, Bess’s stepdaughter, has a point to make. Bess is not her mother, and she won’t replace the one she’s been missing every day for the last two years. And will she ever get the chance to become a mum herself? Cousin Cari is a fierce career-woman who isn’t unnerved by anything - apart from facing the man who left her at the altar, and he’s on the guestlist. Her job has been a safe place to hide ever since - but is it time to let love into her life again?”

Gloomsbury: series 4, by Sue Limb, read by various

“A further BBC Radio 4 series of Sue Limb’s wickedly funny parody of the Bloomsbury Group. A sparkling cast breathes riotous life into the dreadfully droll cast of characters in these six episodes.”

OverDrive

Set up OverDrive

Stalker on the Fens, by Joy Ellis, read by Henrietta Meire

“DI Nikki Galena’s close friend Helen Brook is involved in a serious accident where she is trapped in a collapsed cellar. After her hard-won recovery, Helen is still getting flashbacks to a man she says was down there with her and who confessed to a murder. But no trace of this man can be found.

“Then Helen tells Nikki that someone is watching her. But is all this in her friend’s imagination and part of her post-traumatic stress?

“And why is Stephen Cox back in town? He’s the villain who tore Nikki’s life apart and he seems to have returned to wreak more chaos. Before long the whole town is on the verge of hysteria and her friend’s fear will lead Nikki and Joseph on a very dangerous trail.”

Valley of the Shadow, by Carola Dunn, read by Wanda McCaddon

“While out on a walk, Eleanor Trewynn, her niece Megan, and her neighbor Nick spot a young, half-drowned man floating in the water. Delirious and concussed, he utters a cryptic message about his family being trapped in a cave and his mother dying. The young man, unconscious and unable to help, is whisked away to a hospital while a desperate effort is mounted to find the missing family in time.

“The local police inspector presumes that they are refugees from East Africa, abandoned by the smugglers who brought them into England. While the Cornwall countryside is being scoured for the family, Eleanor herself descends into a dangerous den of smugglers in a desperate search to find the man responsible while there is still time.”

Pyramids, by Terry Pratchett, read by Nigel Planer

“‘Look after the dead’, said the priests, ‘and the dead will look after you.’

“Wise words in all probability, but a tall order when you have just become the pharaoh of a small and penniless country whose largesse - and indeed treasury - is unlikely to stretch to the building of a monumental pyramid to honour your dead father. And particularly when your only visible means of support is a recently acquired qualification from the Guild of Assassins where running a kingdom and basic financial acumen were not prerequisites for course entry…”

Can You Keep a Secret?, by Karen Perry, read by Grainne Gillis

“It’s been twenty years since Lindsey has seen her best friend Rachel. Twenty years since she has set foot in Thornbury Hall - the now crumbling home of the Bagenal family - where they spent so much time as teenagers. Since Patrick Bagenal’s 18th birthday party, the night everything changed.

“Patrick has decided to have one last hurrah before closing the doors of his family home for good. All of the old crowd, back together for a weekend. It’s not long before secrets begin to float to the surface. Everything that Lindsey shared with her best friend at sixteen and everything that she didn’t. But some secrets should never be told. They need to be taken to the grave, while others require revenge at any cost.”

Ikigai: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life, by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, read by Noako Mori

“The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai – a reason for being; the thing that gets you out of bed each morning. And according to the residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa – the world’s longest-living people – finding it is the key to a longer and more fulfilled life.

“Inspiring and comforting, this book will bring you closer to these centenarians’ secrets: how they leave urgency behind; keep doing what they love for as long as possible; nurture friendships; live in the moment; participate in their communities and throw themselves into their passions. And it provides practical tools to help you discover your own personal ikigai.”

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, read by Holter Graham

“The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous — and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself. In this explosive audiobook, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office, showing us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.”

Dying Light, by Stuart Macbride, read by Steve Worsley

“It’s summertime in the Granite City: the sun is shining, the sky is blue and people are dying…

“It starts with Rosie Williams, a prostitute, stripped naked and beaten to death down by the docks – the heart of Aberdeen’s red light district. For DS Logan McRae it’s a bad start to another bad day. Rosie won’t be the only one making an unscheduled trip to the morgue. Across the city six people are burning to death in a petrol-soaked squat, the doors and windows screwed shut from the outside. And despite Logan’s best efforts, it’s not long before another prostitute turns up on the slab…”

Sapiens: a brief history of humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari, read by Derek Perkins

“Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us.

“We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens?

“In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going.

“Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind’s extraordinary history – from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age – and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.”

Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith, read by Steven Pacey

“MGB officer Leo is a man who never questions the Party Line. He arrests whomever he is told to arrest. He dismisses the horrific death of a young boy because he is told to, because he believes the Party stance that there can be no murder in Communist Russia. Leo is the perfect soldier of the regime.

“But suddenly his confidence that everything he does serves a great good is shaken. He is forced to watch a man he knows to be innocent be brutally tortured. And then he is told to arrest his own wife. Leo understands how the State works: Trust and check, but check particularly on those we trust. He faces a stark choice: his wife or his life. And still the killings of children continue…”

BorrowBox

Set up BorrowBox

The Innocent Wife, by Amy Lloyd, read by Christina Cole

“Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl in Florida’s Red River County.

“Now he’s the subject of a true-crime documentary that’s whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free him from his wrongful conviction.

“Thousands of miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis’s case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her.

“Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.

“But when the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all.

“But how do you confront your husband when you don’t want to know the truth?”

The News Quiz: the best of 2017, by various

“2017 marked the 40th anniversary of The News Quiz, ‘the finest topical comedy panel game known to radio’ and a guaranteed provider of headlines, punchlines and sparkling satirical wit.

“The panellists in these four shows from Series 92 and 93 find the funny in topics ranging from Donald Trump to Morris dancing, and from by-elections to pie selections, taking in Brexit, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, urban foxes and an unorthodox lifeguard recruitment drive – not to mention the small matter of a UK General Election. To add to the hilarity, newsreaders Alan Smith, Corrie Corfield and Kathy Clugston read a selection of humorous press cuttings contributed by listeners.”

Little Bones, by Sam Blake, read by Aoife McMahon

“Detective Garda Cathy Connolly’s life has taken an unexpected turn. Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, Cathy’s struggling with how she’s going to balance motherhood with the very real dangers of life on the job.

“Called to what seems like a routine break-in, Cathy discovers a baby’s bones concealed in the hem of an old wedding dress. When the dress’s original owner, Lavinia Grant, is found dead, Cathy is drawn deep into a complex web of secrets and lies spun by three generations of women.

“Meanwhile, a fugitive killer has arrived in Dublin with old scores to settle. Struggling with her own secrets, Cathy doesn’t know how dangerous – and personal – this case is about to become…”

Nucleus, by Rory Clements, read by Adam Sims

“June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready… but the good times won’t last. In Europe, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, and in Germany Jewish persecution is rife. Closer to home, the IRA has embarked on a bombing campaign throughout Britain.

“But the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has made the atomic bomb possible. German High Command fears that Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory could be close behind; they must discover its secrets before it is safe to wage war.

“When one of the Cavendish’s finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is drawn into the investigation. He unveils a conspiracy in which the fate of the world rests on the discovery of a kidnapped child. Can Tom Wilde discover the truth before it is too late?”

True Girt: the unauthorised history of Australia, volume 2, written and read by David Hunt

“In this side-splitting sequel to his bestselling history, David Hunt takes us to the Australian frontier. This was the Wild South, home to hardy pioneers, gun-slinging bushrangers, directionally challenged explorers, nervous indigenous people, Caroline Chisholm and sheep. Lots of sheep.

True Girt introduces Thomas Davey, the hard-drinking Tasmanian governor who invented the Blow My Skull cocktail, and Captain Moonlite, Australia’s most famous LGBTI bushranger. Meet William Nicholson, the Melbourne hipster who gave Australia the steam-powered coffee roaster and the world the secret ballot. And say hello to Harry, the first camel used in Australian exploration, who shot dead his owner, the explorer John Horrocks.

“Learn how Truganini’s death inspired the Martian invasion of Earth. Discover the role of Hall and Oates in the Myall Creek Massacre. And be reminded why you should never ever smoke with the Wild Colonial Boy and Mad Dan Morgan.”

Birdy Flynn, by Helen Donohue, read by Caroline Lennon

“There is the secret of Birdy’s dead grandmother’s cat – how the boys tortured it and Birdy Flynn had to drown her in the river to stop her suffering. There’s the secret of Mrs Cope, the popular teacher, who touched Birdy in the cupboard. There’s the secret of the gypsy girl at school who Birdy likes, but she can’t tell anyone. Because Birdy’s other secret is that while she plays and fights as good as the boys, she is a girl, and she doesn’t always feel like a girl is supposed to.

“Her beloved Irish mother has her own troubles, as does the rest of her rowdy family. So Birdy decides to do what she feels she has to – hold onto her secrets and try and become what others want, even if it means suffering and the risk of losing herself.”

Fight Like a Girl, written and read by Clementine Ford

“Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of women and girls. Her incendiary debut, Fight Like a Girl, is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon to be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Fight Like a Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.”

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.