The thriller genre is the most explored and sought after for any book or audiobook lover. The best suspenseful audiobooks have the prowess to make you flabbergasted, cry you to sleep, make a lasting impression in the figment of your imagination.
Thriller and suspenseful audiobooks can either be slow or fast-paced. Some of the most loved thriller audiobooks are either romantic or insidious. Generally, best suspenseful audiobooks do not have a definite structure or follow a definitive pattern. Thrillers often defy the rules and regulation in literature. They also tend to defy the core of its genre which people applaud.
Most people wonder when they should devote time to hear some of the gripping thriller and suspenseful audiobooks. You can listen to these genres of audiobooks while taking a long drive. You can also make a boring commute interesting with the best suspenseful audiobooks. The list of audiobooks that are listed here comes from an extensive selection of thriller, best crime, conspiracies, revenge and suspenseful audiobooks. We do not want to brag but after you’re done with our handpicked books, you’ll be proud of yourself. We are going to list 10 most suspenseful audiobooks. But, that doesn’t mean you should only listen to those audiobooks. There is a variety of audiobooks of different genres you can listen to today!
What is the common ground of Suspenseful audiobooks?
Thriller genre is identified by suspense. Thriller audiobooks provide a feeling of fascination, pleasure, and heart-throbbing excitement. These feelings added by the curiosity of the future incidents in the story makes it compelling for listeners. Narrative and negative characterization with the sense of impending doom makes it interesting and sometimes scary.
The unpredictability of Thriller genres ending makes it suitable as audiobooks. Normally, when you read something do you remember them permanently? The answer is not always. However, when you hear something, take the sentences into consciousness to make you remember things better. One of the foremost and notable examples of the thriller genre is Odyssey by Homer. The epic inspires the modern-day thrillers which are popular today.
Why should you start listening to suspenseful audiobooks when paperback exists?
Since the digitalization, the Internet became mainstream after 2010. A lot of people are moving to reading PDFs and listening to audiobooks on dedicated devices. Paperbacks are always the most preferred medium of reading. However, as the times are changing, you should embrace change. There are several reasons why we suggest people listen to audiobooks. One of them is accessibility. You can access the audiobooks you possess anywhere, anytime. It is often said one must one read while they are commuting. Well, with audiobooks, you can say goodbye to the old belief. Listening to audiobooks is just like listening to songs.
It doesn’t matter if you are a long-time audiobook listener or a conventional reader. You can always switch between platforms to try new things. As we explore the list of best suspenseful audiobooks that you should listen to this fall.
Remember, the best suspenseful audiobooks are processed with a dedicated audio team who have extensive knowledge in audio production. The audiobooks that we will recommend are our personal favourite. We have carefully listened to all of them and only 10 have got our attention. You will find the voice of the narrator serene and firm to keep you attentive. When it comes to consuming Thriller and suspenseful genres, audiobooks are preferable. Let’s dig in!
10 Of The Most Suspenseful Audiobooks You’ll Ever Listen
- Big Sky (2019)
Written By: Kate Atkinson
Narrated By: Jason Isaacs
Length: 11 hours 20 minutes
Category: Literary Fiction, Suspense
Kate Atkinson’s Big Sky starts with conventional investigation. It is often the normal and usual stuff that leads to a sinister plot. By the looks of it, this is the case with Big Sky. The story starts normal, which you’d find a little boring. However, it escalates and leads to a sinister multifaceted story. Big Sky was also one of the few thriller stories in the world which were shortlisted by Audible for Sounds of Crime Award 2020. Big Sky created a lot of hype before its release due to Jackson Brodie, the protagonist. Brodie, an ex-Cambridge Constabulary turned private investigator is a decorated hero for both men and women.
In Big Sky Jackson Brodie moves to North Yorkshire alongside Nathan, his teenage son and Labrador, Dido. While solving a simple case of infidelity, he encounters a menacing network. Things get interesting for listeners when they find you the man behind the said network is some from Brodie’s past
Pros: The audiobook is narrated by none other than Jason Issacs. Issacs came into prominence after portraying Lucius Malfoy in WB’s Harry Potter film franchise. The audiobook has all of Atkinson’s hallmarks, heartwarming, funny, gripping and sad.
- The Accomplice (2019)
Written By: Joseph Kanon
Narrated By: Jonathan Davis
Length: 9 hours 20 minutes
The Accomplice written by Joseph Kanon is an intelligent and heart-pounding espionage novel turned audiobook. The plot is about a war criminal of Nazi origin who was presumed dead. However, there is a rogue CIA agent who keeps tracks of the criminal. In addition to this, there is a beautiful girl who is connected to both of them. The novel is set sometime in 1962 after Adolf Eichmann’s execution.
War Crimes is an important characteristic of the Thriller genre. The author has taken the perfect setting and subject to curate the story of The Accomplice. Listeners will find the characters in the audiobook to be dynamic and complex. The characters even have complicated relationships with other characters in the book. Moreover, the listeners will find this complexity as a driving force to complete the audiobook as soon as it begins.
Pros: Jonathan Davis, the narrator of the audiobook gives an exceptional performance. The audiobook has a shocking climax which would deem the listeners reeling.
- Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (1959)
Written By: Alfred Lansing
Narrated By: Simon Prebble
Length: 10 hours and 20 minutes
Category: United States History
Endurance is based on the real-life incident of Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 voyage. Endurance is not a work of fiction, rather the harrowing tale of survival took place in the life of Shackleton, a notable British explorer. Shackleton set a course to reach the very end of the South Pole which led to the events of Endurance. Since its release, the book has been regarded among the greatest of the adventure of the modern-day era. The audiobook of Endurance released in January 2008.
The ship was crushed and trapped on ice for five months. This led to Shackleton and the bravest crew of the planet to drift on the ice pack for 1,000 miles. Since its release Endurance has been competing with nail-biting dramatic fiction for quite some time now. Endurance is about the victorious feat of brave men against the severity of nature.
Pros: The real-life adventure has already been documented. In addition to this, one of the notable Hollywood directors showed interest to depict Shackleton and brave men’s adventurous Voyage into a motion picture.
- Kindred (1979)
Written By: Octavia E. Butler
Narrated By: Kim Staunton
Length: 10 hours and 55 minutes
Category: Literary History & Criticism
Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred is a sci-fi thriller modelled on narratives of slaves. Kindred also incorporates the time-travel element making the novel the first-ever sci-fi work written by a woman of colour. Over the years, Kindred has become the bedrock of Black American literature. The unification of fantasy, slave memoir, and historical fiction in Kindred is unparalleled.
The audiobook of Kindred was released in May 2008. The audiobook is rich in major literary elements, near-death experience, slavery issues, human rights, as well as racial discrimination which exists even in 2020. The listeners are teleported to the time of slavery society where a modern-day woman of colour is secluded. The author had to diminish the brutality of slavery before she started working on Kindred. In Kindred, all slaves have distinctive personalities and own stories to tell.
Pros: The strong narrative by Kim Staunton transcends the listener’s earphones into a time machine.
- Children of the New World (2016)
Written By: Alexander Weinstein
Narrated By: David Aaron Baker
Length: 5 hours and 59 minutes
Category: Science Fiction Anthologies & Short Stories
Did you like Black Mirror, an anthology series which incorporates unpleasant stories? If you liked Black Mirror, then you’re going to fall in love with this collection of Short Stories. Alexander Weinstein’s short story sci-fi collection is 2016’s 100 Notable Books according to the New York Times. The names of the short stories in Children of the New World are:
- Saying Goodbye to Yang
- The Cartographers
The short story collection wrestles with the norm of the modern world. It also addresses how the dependence on technology is influencing the world for better or worse. These stories also talk about the people living in the 21st Century who are so much dependent on the virtual world that they cannot connect with their peers in their real life.
Pros: Given that these stories will scare you. But the stories depict the harsh reality of the world we are heading towards.
- Gone Girl (2012)
Written By: Gillian Flynn
Narrated By: Anna Maria Käll
Length: 13 hours 33 minutes
Most of the people are aware of David Fincher’s Hollywood film, Gone Girl. Well, the book is a New York Times best-selling novel and it has become extremely popular around the world. Some of the critics suggest that Gone Girl is by far one of the top-most novels in the decade. The story of Gone Girl is about a dissatisfied housewife who devises a plan to fake her death. Further, she watches her husband take the fall of her death. However, she realizes that she cannot lead a life without her husband. Yes, she does sound like a menacing modern-day woman.
Given that Gone Girl is a crime and thriller book, the central theme is manipulation. In the entire story, Amy, the female anti-heroine is seen manipulating one another for her gain. You will enjoy this thriller in audiobooks just like our editors did.
Pros: There is a cult following of Gone Girl in America as well as the world due to its unique plot and storyline.
- Bird Box (2014)
Written By: Josh Malerman
Narrated By: Katharine Mangold
Length: 7 hours 51 minutes
Category: Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Bird Box is another entry on this list which has already been adapted into a motion picture. Netflix’s Original Film features Sandra Bullock in the lead role. Most people are unaware that Bird Box is also available in audiobook format. In addition to this, it is a hit among the audiobook listeners. The terrifying psychological thriller will haunt you in your nights as well as days. Just like the story suggests not to open your eyes.
Pros: You do not have to open your eyes while listening to this. One of the perks of listening to audiobooks.
- Since We Fell (2017)
Written By: Dennis Lehane
Narrated By: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes
Category: Fiction & Literature
The psychological thriller by Dennis Lehane, American author is written through a woman’s perspective. Rachel Childs is the main protagonist of the story. Childs became famous across the country after a mental breakdown on-air. The former journalist is yet to recover from the turmoil and is found shut-in virtually. The story is filled with tension and insight that will baffle listeners.
Over the course, Rachel is sucked into a thick conspiracy with violence, deception as well as madness. Uncover if Rachel fathoms strength to control mind-altering honesty and fears.
Pros: Dennis Lehane is the writer of Shutter Island which was beautiful and complicated at the same time.
- Behind Her Eyes (2017)
Written By: Sarah Pinborough
Narrated By: Anna Bentinck, Josie Dunn, Bea Holland, Huw Parmenter
Length: 11 hours 45 minutes
The novel is built upon three solid ingredients – Psychology, Love Triangle, and Thriller. Sarah Pinborough penned down a fantastically creepy novel which is also available as an audiobook. The audiobook is narrated by Josie Dunn, Anna Bentinck, Huw Parmenter, and Bea Holland. The central character Louise meets a young couple David and Adele and gets obsessed with how wonderful they are. Things begin to take different turns when Louise uncovers the reality of the couple.
Pros: The book is all set to become an all-new Netflix series. Listen to Behind Her Eyes before people and Netflix spoils it for you.
- The Couple Next Door (2016)
Written By: Shari Lapena
Narrated By: Kirsten Potter
Length: 8 hours and 40 minutes
Category: Crime Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers
Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door is a Sunday Times best-seller. In addition to this, it has also received Book of the Year 2016 accolades by WHSmith. The story revolves around domestic suspense between friendly neighbours and a young couple. The author has artistically captured the betrayal, lies, as well as secrets between couples. The Couple Next Door is much recommended to be heard on audiobooks due to its setting and plot.
Pros: It is one of the best debut thrillers in the world.
Listing the best suspenseful audiobooks would be endless. There are so many great books which have been written by remarkable writers. The list of thriller audiobooks mentioned here is some of the favourites of avid readers around the world.
Here are a few hand-picked guides for you to read next:
Here are a few other websites to find most suspenseful audiobooks :