When you press play on the thrilling audiobooks below, you’ll find it impossible to tear yourself away.
By Taylor Wiggs
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. 9 hours and 19 minutes.
Alex Michaelides’ hotly anticipated new thriller follows Mariana Andros and her search for the truth in a baffling murder mystery at Cambridge University. The victim was a student and a member of an all-female secret society known as The Maidens. Mariana, a brilliant group therapist whose niece knew the victim, is convinced she knows who carried out the killing: Edward Fosca, Cambridge’s charismatic Greek tragedy professor. As Mariana’s dogged search transforms into an obsession, she realizes she must risk everything if she hopes to stop the killer. Critics have hailed The Maidens as a “cleverly twisted winner” (Booklist), and its audiobook version recently received an Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine. If you cue up one chilling listen this summer, The Maidens should be it.
The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon, narrated by Joy Osmanski and Imani Jade Powers. 11 hours and 48 minutes.
Jennifer McMahon is the celebrated author of atmospheric thrillers like The Winter People and The Invited. Her latest is a multigenerational ghost story that will keep you riveted. When Jax learns that her troubled older sister Lexie has drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate, she’s devastated, though not entirely surprised. Lexie had grown increasingly erratic in the weeks leading up to her death, exhibiting behavior that was out of touch with reality. As Jax begins sorting through her sister’s things, she discovers that Lexie had been researching the history of their family and property. Among her papers is the story of Ethel Monroe, who in 1929 had a life-changing experience in the dark spring waters that now feed the pool where Lexie met her fate. As Jax plunges deeper into Lexie’s research, she uncovers startling truths about her family’s past that reach far beyond her darkest imagining.
Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian, narrated by Grace Experience, Saskia Maarleveld, and more. 14 hours and 8 minutes.
Bestselling author Chris Bohjalian (The Flight Attendant) returns with this witchy historical thriller set in 17th-century Boston. Twenty-four-year-old Mary Deerfield is trapped in an abusive marriage with a drunk and violent man named Thomas. After Thomas injures her in an explosion of cruelty, Mary makes an exceedingly difficult decision for a woman in colonial America: She decides to divorce her husband. But in the days that follow, a dreadful suspicion spreads among the members of her religious community, and soon Mary is marked as a witch. Now she’s in a fight for survival both from her violent spouse and the superstitious brutality of her neighbors.
Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone, narrated by Katie Leung. 11 hours and 38 minutes.
Horror maestro Stephen King recommended this dark and buzzy haunted house tale by Carole Johnstone. As children, sisters Cat and El loved exploring the darkened corridors of their eerie old home in Edinburgh, Scotland. As adults, they’re estranged: Cat lives a world away in Los Angeles, while El tends to their childhood home with her husband. But when El disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat returns home in search of answers. There she discovers perplexing clues that seem to point to her sister’s disappearance. The trail leads Cat back under the pantry stairs and into Mirrorland,a not-so-imaginary place the siblings invented as children where the truth about what happened to El lies in wait.
Near the Bone by Christina Henry, narrated by Lisa Flanagan. 8 hours and 39 minutes.
Looking to add a touch of dark fantasy horror to your reading list this summer? Christina Henry’s latest icy narrative should do the trick. Two monsters haunt the isolated mountain home where Mattie and William reside. The first is newly arrived: a fanged creature that prowls the snowy peaks and devours animals in the surrounding woods. The second is a predator that has stalked Mattie long before the arrival of the thing skulking just outside the cabin walls. When three strangers appear at Mattie’s doorstep in search of the creature, Mattie knows that it’s only a matter of time before these two forces collide.
Mother May by Joshilyn Jackson, narrated by Joshilyn Jackson. 12 hours and 51 minutes.
Bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson is known as a master of psychological suspense. And in her latest pulse-pounding narrative, it’s easy to see why. Bree Cabbat awakens one morning to a terrifying sight: an old woman draped in black peering through her bedroom window. Later that day, while waiting in the parking lot of her daughters’ private school, Bree sees the haunting figure again — and seconds later, her infant son vanishes from the passenger seat beside her. Now, to save her child, Bree must embark on a dark and twisted path… one that threatens to destroy everything she holds dear.
Madam by Phoebe Wynne, narrated by Nathalie Buscombe. 13 hours and 52 minutes.
Fans of dark academia and ghostly narratives set on the cliffs of Scotland will enjoy this haunting new narrative by Phoebe Wynne. Rose Christie is the first new teacher hired by Scotland’s Caldonbrae Hall in more than a decade. At first, Rose is ecstatic about her new position. Not long after arriving, however, a question begins to plague her mind: Just who did she replace at Caldonbrae Hall, and why? As Rose searches for answers about her predecessor, she turns her attention to the foreboding institution. Soon terrible truths emerge that call into question the true purpose of Caldonbrae Hall and the real reason why Rose is there.
The Shape of Darkness, by Laura Purcell, narrated by Ell Potter. 10 hours and 44 minutes.
Laura Purcell’s latest gothic horror is rich in atmosphere and suspense, making it the perfect scary summer treat. Agnes is a silhouette artist in Victorian England, and unfortunately her clients keep turning up dead, murdered soon after they sit for her. Desperate to stop the string of murders and preserve her livelihood, Agnes visits a famed spirit medium. She hopes that contacting the dead will reveal the killer; instead, the séance tears open a portal that won’t soon be shut.
Shutter by Melissa Larsen, narrated by Megan Tusing. 9 hours and 47 minutes.
Named an anticipated novel by Bustle, Buzzfeed, and more, Melissa Larsen’s debut is sure to send a chill down your spine. Betty Roux moves to New York City with one goal in mind: to turn the page on a painful chapter from her past. Soon after arriving, she meets Anthony Marino, a magnetic filmmaker who offers her a starring role in his latest project. Against the advice of her mother, Betty accepts the role, traveling to the set on an isolated island off the coast of Maine. There she meets the cast and crew and is assigned an entirely new identity. It isn’t long, however, before Betty realizes that something is very wrong about this production — and about Anthony.