Lovemurder: A Novel by Saul Black; narrated by Christina DelaineAdult Fiction. Katherine Glass has been in prison for six years. So why are her grisly murders being replicated now? Turns out, the beautiful serial killer had a partner, who's demanding that Katherine be released -- or more will die. In this 2nd in author Saul Black's series starring Valerie Hart, the San Francisco Homicide detective turns to Katherine for help in identifying the next victim before it's too late. Narrator Christina Delaine skillfully executes the unrelenting pace of this tense, intricately plotted thriller, which features complex personalities as well as explicit, graphic descriptions.
A Touch of Frost by Jo Goodman; narrated by Laurence BouvardAdult Fiction. Remington Frost had one job: ensure that Phoebe Apple arrives safely at the Twin Star Ranch in Frost Falls, Colorado. But Phoebe, the younger sister of his father's new bride, has just been kidnapped en route to her destination. So Remington rides to the rescue, but that's just the beginning of the couple's romantic (mis)adventures. This stand-alone novel by the author of the Bitter Springs series combines passion and thrills in a vivid Old West setting, warmly portrayed in Laurence Bouvard's narration.
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse; narrated by Tanya EbyAdult Nonfiction. Beginning in November 2012, an arson spree terrorized a rural county in Virginia for six months. In American Fire, journalist Monica Hesse traces the fiery trail of Charlie Smith and Tonya Bundick, who torched unoccupied buildings near where they lived in economically depressed but tightly knit Accomack County. Like Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, the deadly pair were romantically entwined; their motives remained elusive until after their capture. True crime aficionados and those interested in the economic fates of rural communities will want to listen to this compelling story, in which Tanya Eby's narration convincingly distinguishes among the participants' voices.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal; narrated by Meera SyalAdult Fiction. Given the title, you might expect stories of a saucy nature, but this novel, set in a Punjabi community in Southall, London, is less concerned with titillation and more interested in upending biases towards widowed women, illuminating multicultural life in England, and exploring the push-pull of tradition and modernity. This portrayal of a group of Punjabi widows who turn their writing class into an opportunity to tell stories and build community features warm, engaging characters and descriptive details of the community. Meera Syal's narration enhances the humor with her wry British accent.
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue: A Novel by Mackenzi Lee; narrated by Christian CoulsonTeen Fiction. A "Grand Tour" of 18th-century Europe offers Lord Henry Montague one last chance to cut loose before he must abandon his scandalous life of drinking and dallying with young ladies (and gentlemen) and take over his family's British estate. The Tour is barely underway when Monty (accompanied by his sharp-minded sister Felicity and his best friend and secret love Percy) makes a powerful enemy, turning the journey into a life-or-death mission involving highwaymen, pirates, and alchemy. Blending snarky humor with passionate emotion and savvy social observations, this "guide" is an "absolute delight of a listen" (AudioFile) for fans of inclusive historical adventure.
The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka; narrated by Allyson RyanAdult Fiction. Nine months after her cop father died while on duty, PI Roxane Weary is still a mess, drowning her sorrows in whiskey and sex. Even so, she agrees to help the desperate sister of a man on death row. The woman thinks she's seen her black brother's white girlfriend, who could clear his name...but if it's really her, where's she been for the 15 years since her parents were murdered? This accomplished, riveting debut set in Columbus, Ohio has a hardboiled feel, great dialogue, complex characters, and a tough female detective.
Black Mad Wheel: A Novel by Josh Malerman; narrated by Robertson DeanAdult Fiction. In this second novel by Josh Malerman, author of the highly acclaimed Bird Box, the U.S. government recruits a Detroit rock band in 1957 to search for the origin of a destructive sound in the Namib Desert. After the trip to Africa, band leader and pianist Philip Tonka emerges from a coma in an Iowa clinic, and he struggles to recall what happened in the desert. Malerman's knowledge of music enriches his storytelling, and narrator Robertson Dean turns out a reading that's especially impressive for his emotional portrayal of Tonka and his hospital nurse.
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips; narrated by Cassandra CampbellAdult Fiction. After a pleasant afternoon at the zoo, Joan realizes that the loud noises she'd heard earlier were actually gunshots -- human bodies litter the park's entrance, and at least one armed man stands between her and freedom. She grabs her four-year-old and finds cover, but with an antsy, hungry preschooler, even the best hiding place won't last forever, and Joan must soon make a move. Their harrowing ordeal moves lightning-fast as author Gin Phillips movingly portrays what a mother will do to protect her child. Cassandra Campbell's vivid narration may be emotionally intense but will stick with you long after it's over.
Want by Cindy Pon; narrated by Roger YehTeen Fiction. Jason Zhou will do whatever it takes to destroy Jin Corp, which holds a monopoly on the expensive suits that protect the wealthy from near-future Taipei's toxic environment. The powerful company isn't above poisoning the population to drive up the suits' prices. Fed up with being poor and unprotected, Jason and his friends plot to take down Jin Corp from the inside. Their plan begins with kidnapping Jin's daughter, Daiyu…and it goes awry when Jason begins to fall for her. Narrator Roger Yeh effectively conveys the book's spirit and "will keep the listener hooked until the end" (AudioFile).
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland; narrated by an ensemble including Laurence Bouvard, Shelly Atkinson, Laural Merlington, Joe Barrett, and Will DamronAdult Fiction. Magic is real and, until 1851, was practiced openly. Then it disappeared. To find out why, the shadowy government entity known as the Department of Diachronic Operations (D.O.D.O.), recruits Harvard-trained linguist Melisande Stokes to translate ancient documents in search of clues. This collaboration between science fiction writer Neal Stephenson and historical fiction writer Nicole Galland may appeal to fans of Jody Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary's series. Read by an ensemble, the audiobook offers a rich and compelling listening experience.
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