Audible Angst | Crime Fiction Audiobooks

Find intrigue, chills, and thrills in these star-worthy crime novels in which skilled narrators add even more power to the twisty tales.

Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide by Rupert Holmes. S. & S. Audio. Feb. 2023. 14:13 hrs. ISBN 9781797149837. $24.99. 

Edgar Award–winning Holmes (Swing) uses witty wordplay and grim humor as the basis for an elaborately detailed story about three students at a most unusual school. The McMasters Conservatory for the Applied Arts is a secret academy for would-be murderers. This highbrow institute would never use a word so crass as “murder”; instead, its claims that its mission is to educate students on how to ethically “delete” those who meet their criteria. Students leave the school as fully accredited graduates with a final “thesis” project in the real world—and the completed thesis is often displayed in an attractive urn. Told through multiple story lines, the novel follows aeronautic engineer Cliff Iverson, who has been sponsored by an anonymous benefactor to attend the conservatory. Initially appalled by the institute, he attempts to escape but then settles into becoming a star pupil. Two other story lines include characters hoping to delete employers. Holmes’s novel creates a richly atmospheric 1950s setting, and narrators Simon Vance and Neil Patrick Harris romp through the material, seemingly having a ball as they deliver the puns and cheeky quotes with perfect pacing and gusto. VERDICT Vance and Harris are a listener’s dream team. This rollicking mystery is a must-purchase for all libraries.—Christa Van Herreweghe

The Drift by C.J. Tudor. Books on Tape. Jan. 2023. 10:50 hrs. ISBN 9780593452837. $76.

Tudor’s (The Burning Girls) latest features three interconnected narratives that collide in a frozen landscape just as humanity is clawing its way back from a devastating pandemic. A coach from a secluded boarding school crashes their bus, forcing Hannah and her surviving classmates to try and survive the frigid night; Meg and her group awaken inside a broken-down cable car with a storm raging outside and a possible murderer within; Carter and the residents of an abandoned ski chalet must band together when the power goes out and what’s trapped in the basement gets loose. Narrators Nathalie Buscombe, Rachel Handshaw, and Richard Armitage provide unique voices and compelling depth for each POV character, from Armitage’s rumbling growl for Carter to Buscombe’s clinical deadpan for young Hannah. This gut-wrenching tale of survival culminates in a third-act reveal that completely flips expectations. VERDICT Like all great apocalypse stories, Tudor’s novel is a blizzard of brutality and despair with just the tiniest flickers of hope. Recommended for fans of Kevin A. Muñoz’s The Post or Ruth Ware’s One By One.— James Gardner

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing