Brilliant pacing. An incredible cast. Unrelenting tension. There’s nothing quite like losing yourself in a gripping audiobook.
So if you’re looking to catch up on some of the standout books of the year, audio is a great way to get your crime fix. Whether you’re out on a drive, off on a run or cooking your dinner, why not immerse yourself in one of these thrilling stories?
Here’s our pick of the best crime audiobooks of 2019.
The best crime audiobooks of 2019:
The Taking of Annie Thorne by C J Tudor, read by Richard Armitage
One night, Annie went missing from her own bed. There were searches, appeals, and everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after 48 hours, she came back – though she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her. Now, eight years later, it’s happening again…
Transport yourself to a claustrophobic small town hiding a secret darker than anyone could imagine in this second thriller from the author of The Chalk Man. Sinister, dark and seriously creepy, Richard Armitage’s narration is note-perfect for those who like crime fiction that sends a chill down your spine.
Knife by Jo Nesbo, read by Sean Barrett
Knife sees Harry Hole waking up with a ferocious hangover, his hands and clothes covered in blood. Not only is Harry about to come face to face with an old, deadly foe, but with his darkest personal challenge yet.
Aside from Jo Nesbo himself, no one knows and understands Harry Hole better than Sean Barrett, the first class narrator who breathes life into the character time and time again. Pacy and tense, this audio edition is guaranteed to take you on an absolute roller coaster of a ride.
Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, read by Jason Isaacs
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.
Everyone’s favourite private detective returned this year, voiced by none other than Jason Isaacs, star of the BBC adaptation of the Brodie novels. Kate Atkinson’s crime novels have real heart, and Big Sky is certainly no exception. It’s a funny, emotional book that still manages to grip with its brilliant plot and believable characters. We can’t recommend it enough.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, read by Weruche Opia
When Korede gets a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach – because Ayoola has now killed three boyfriends, leaving Korede to clear up the mess each time. But now Ayoola’s dating the man Korede has long been in love with. How can she save one without sacrificing the other?
Oyinkan’s debut is a refreshing, original and hugely entertaining novel that you’ll race through. Wonderfully crafted, with short, snappy chapters, it’s deliciously clever and full of wit that can’t fail to delight.
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, read by Tamaryn Payne, Bea Holland and Dominic Thorburn
In a large house in London, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up. In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. They’ve been dead for several days. So who has been looking after the baby? And where did they go?
Told from multiple viewpoints, Lisa Jewell’s latest psychological thriller is seeped in mystery, weaving together different strands to produce a complex tale about dark, sinister secrets buried in the past. This one is as absorbing as they come.
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, read by Imogen Church
When Rowan stumbles across an advert for a live-in nanny, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in cell awaiting trial for murder. But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is…
Lose yourself in Ruth Ware’s addictive and hugely atmospheric modern-day haunted house thriller. It’s intriguing and suspenseful, with tension you could cut with a knife and menace that permeates every chapter. Prepare to find yourself on the edge of your seat.
Murder Under the Sun: 13 Summer Mysteries by the Queen of Crime by Agatha Christie, read by Hugh Fraser
Summer: a time for rest and relaxation. But murder can strike anywhere, as this selection of holiday-themed mysteries starring Hercule Poirot, Christopher Parker Pyne, Harley Quin and James Bond proves.
Hugh Fraser’s voice is bound to bring a smile to the face of any Agatha Christie’s Poirot fans – who better to narrate some Christie classics than Captain Hastings himself?! With enchanting tales and charming characters, this audiobook is perfect for getting away from it all.
Blue Moon by Lee Child, read by Jeff Harding
In a nameless city, two rival criminal gangs, one Albanian, the other Ukrainian, are competing for control. But they hadn’t counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch. Will Reacher sit back and let bad things happen? Or can he twist the situation to everyone’s benefit?
Fast-paced, with thrills and spills a’plenty, Lee Child’s bestseller sees our hero confront his most dangerous opponents yet in a hugely entertaining, explosive white-knuckle ride of a read, narrated by the masterful Jeff Harding.
No Way Out by Cara Hunter, read by Lee Ingleby and Emma Cunniffe
Two children are pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. Why were they left in the house alone? And where are their parents? Then new evidence confirms DI Fawley’s worst nightmare: this fire wasn’t an accident – it was murder.
The third DI Fawley novel is packed with twists and turns that will see you gripped from start to finish. Read by Lee Ingleby from Innocent, Line of Duty and Criminal, and Emma Cunniffe from Unforgotten, Midsomer Murders and Lewis, this is a truly engrossing listen with a clever plot and characters you really root for.
No One Home by Tim Weaver, read by Joe Coen and Lorelei King
On Halloween night, the nine residents of Black Gale gather for a dinner party. They eat, drink and laugh. They play games and take photographs. But those photographs will be the last record of any of them. By the next morning, the whole village has vanished. Two years on, and the families of the missing turn to investigator David Raker.
We can’t get enough of Tim Weaver’s David Raker thrillers – and if you’ve ever picked one up, you’re sure to understand why. Brilliantly paced, complex, intriguing and suspenseful, you’ll struggle to stop listening once you’ve started this one.
The Holiday by T M Logan, read by Laura Kirman
It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: four best friends and their families in a luxurious French villa. But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair and that the other woman is one of her best friends. As Kate closes in on the truth, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined. Because someone in the villa is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.
The tension builds slowly but surely in this twisty holiday thriller about lies and betrayal, keeping you guessing right until the very end.