From family dramas, supernatural chillers, and gripping detective narratives both real and imagined, we gathered the top must-listen new audiobooks that will whisk you away to another place. So settle in and press play.
11 New Audiobooks You Need to Hear This Summer
Your ears do not want to miss these thrilling new narratives.
By Alexis Schaitkin, Narrated by Ell Potter. 7 hours and 55 minutes.
A haunting and poetic take on motherhood, Alexis Schaitkin’s acclaimed Elsewhere has been compared to the works of Margaret Atwood and Shirley Jackson. Vera lives in an isolated mountain village where mothers have a habit of vanishing into thin air. She is all too familiar with the perplexing affliction; her own mother disappeared when she was just a girl. Now that Vera’s set to become a mother herself, she must reckon with the events of her childhood and the possibility that she might be the next mother to go. This provocative narrative is a must-listen for fans of speculative fiction as well as anyone intrigued by the mysteries of motherhood.
The Kingdoms of Savannah
By George Dawes Green, Narrated by Ariel Blake, Jeanette Illidge, Karen Commins, Kathleen McInerney, and Lee Osorio. 11 hours and 17 minutes.
If the summer heat makes you want to sink into a balmy Southern mystery, then George Dawes Green’s The Kingdoms of Savannah is for you. Morgana Musgrove, a revered Savannah society doyenne, must solve the baffling murder of a local man and the disappearance of his companion. But she can’t crack this case alone, so she enlists her four adult children — each of whom is wary of Morgana’s domineering ways — to aid in the investigation. Together, the family unravels twisted truths about the Hostess City that will shake Savannah’s high society to its core. Dark, moody, and compelling, The Kingdoms of Savannah is an outstanding late-summer listening binge.
By Jean Hanff Korelitz, Narrated by Julia Whelan. 16 hours 19 minutes.
Read by “golden voice” (AudioFile) narrator Julia Whelan, The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz explores the thorny relationship shared by the Oppenheimer family. It’s the perfect tale for anyone familiar with a little family drama — and isn’t that all of us? The narrative follows Salo and Johanna Oppenheimer, wealthy New Yorkers who give birth to triplets in the early days of IVF. Years later, Johanna faces an empty nest and an increasingly distant husband as her triplet children prepare to leave for college. So she decides to have a fourth child. But how will this surprise latecomer impact the Oppenheimer family’s already fragile family dynamic?
Things We Do in the Dark
By Jennifer Hillier, Narrated by Carla Vega. 12 hours and 22 minutes.
Who doesn’t love a pulse-pounding psychological thriller set on the dark side of Hollywood? When Paris Peralta is arrested — covered in blood and gripping a straight razor — for the murder of her celebrity husband, she worries less about how bad things look than about the ensuing media attention exposing her true identity. Turns out Paris has more than a few skeletons in her closet, and they’re all coming back to haunt her. Is Paris truly guilty of murder? Will an ominous figure from her past step out of the shadows to destroy the life she’s so carefully constructed? You’ll definitely want to find out in Jennifer Hillier’s Things We Do in the Dark, which People magazine hails as “propulsive and chilling.”
By Jason Rekulak, Narrated by Suzy Jackson. 9 hours 29 minutes.
Jason Rekulak’s supernatural thriller Hidden Pictures has the benefit of being recommended by Stephen King, so you know it’s a spooky must-listen. When Mallory Quinn starts nannying for five-year-old Teddy, she thinks she’s found her dream job. But things take a disconcerting turn for the nightmarish when Teddy’s stick-figure drawings morph into realistic sketches of a possible murder. Listen from safely under your covers as Mallory races to decipher these disturbing images before it’s too late.
By Sloane Crosley, Narrated by the author. 8 hours and 9 minutes.
In this exploration of romance in the digital age, recently engaged Lola bumps into an alarming number of her ex-boyfriends while attending a work reunion in New York City’s Chinatown. As the tale twists and turns into something both comical and eerie, Lola must confront her past loves as she makes a critical decision about her future. Take a break from following your former flames on Instagram and dive into this acclaimed new narrative.
Bad City: Peril and Power in the City of Angels
By Paul Pringle, Narrated by Robert Petkoff. 9 hours and 48 minutes.
Unfolding like a great L.A. noir thriller, this true-life investigation from Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Paul Pringle digs deep into the corruption and criminality plaguing the city’s most powerful institutions. Bad City opens with reports of a drug overdose at a nearby hotel involving the dean of the University of Southern California’s esteemed medical school. But what seemed to be a stand-alone tip soon exposes a wave of deceit that stretches across the City of Angels and creeps into Pringle’s life. Fans of true crime and the power of investigative journalism won’t want to miss this shocking true story.
Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases
By Paul Holes with Robin Gaby Fisher, Narrated by the author. 8 hours and 45 minutes.
Here’s a gripping true crime narrative that benefits from the author’s own narration. In Unmasked, forensic detective Paul Holes delivers a harrowing first-person account of his investigations into America’s most notorious cold cases, from the murder of Laci Peterson and the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard to the 20-year manhunt for the Golden State Killer. Throughout, Holes is brutally honest about the triumphs and hardships of life as a cold case investigator, all while demonstrating the intense focus and compassion necessary to bring about justice for the victims of these crimes.
The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide
By Steven W. Thrasher, Narrated by the author, with a foreword by Dr. Jonathan M. Metzl. 9 hours and 26 minutes.
In The Viral Underclass, social critic and LGBTQ scholar Dr. Steven W. Thrasher examines the connection between disease and inequality. With great insight and urgency, Thrasher reveals the disparity between those who are able to survive viruses and those who suffer, showing us the ways in which viral spread exposes the fractures that undermine society. Far from delivering a detached academic analysis, Thrasher passionately lays out his argument through stories of everyday people as they navigate not just COVID-19 but HIV and an array of other viruses. This is a must-listen for anyone interested in understanding our current moment of crisis and the path toward a healthier, more equitable future.
Corrections in Ink
By Keri Blakinger, Narrated by the author. 8 hours and 22 minutes.
Part memoir, part first-person investigation into America’s criminal justice system, Keri Blakinger’s Corrections in Ink retraces her journey from elite figure skater to life on the edge as a heroin addict and her time behind bars, and then to her transformation into an award-winning journalist. After experiencing first-hand how badly the criminal justice structure in America treats those struggling with addiction, Blakinger sets out to expose our broken system and its flawed approach to punishing people in need. Powerfully told by the author, Corrections in Ink is a stirring account of second chances and redemption.
My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole
By Will Jawando, Narrated by the author. 7 hours and 35 minutes.
Rounding out our list of new audiobooks is an uplifting narrative of perseverance, mentorship, and community engagement. Will Jawando is an attorney, activist, and community leader involved with My Brother’s Keeper, President Obama’s national mentoring initiative that addresses opportunity gaps faced by young men of color. In My Seven Black Fathers, Jawando recounts his life-changing experiences with the mentors who shaped him into the man he is today, from a grade school teacher who helped him when he was being bullied, to Barack Obama, who appointed Jawando as his associate director of public engagement at the White House. Beautifully told, Jawando’s memoir is sure to inspire you to go out and get involved in your own community.