Playlisted The Essential James Patterson Whether you’re just discovering James Patterson or an avid, longtime fan of his work, this list will inspire you to listen in to some of his best audiobooks. By Tizrah Price Jul 14, 2020 James Patterson is one of the most prolific contemporary American writers working today—from children's and YA books to thrillers, mysteries, and even romance, it's hard to keep up with such a massive number of best sellers. Figuring out where to start with his array of audiobooks can be overwhelming. Most fans will give you different answers if you ask what the best James Patterson listens are, or which series are his most popular, so we've decided to offer you a few different entry points into his impressive catalog.We've rounded up the ten most popular, highly rated audiobooks and series that James Patterson has written for adults. Some of these are series that should be listened to in order, and some are standalone novels—but feel free to dive in anywhere! You can't go wrong with any of these excellent James Patterson listens. 1st to Die stop Principles By James Patterson Narrated by Suzanne Toren 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. The Women's Murder Club is one of James Patterson's longest-running series. Set in San Francisco, it stars four women—a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant DA, and a crime reporter—who have their friendship and a dedication to crime investigations in common. The series has numeric titles and kicks off with 1st to Die, and continues to the latest release, The 20th Victim. The novels are consistent best sellers and inspired a TV drama of the same name, featuring Angie Harmon as the homicide detective. Each listen is its own standalone mystery, but if you care about the characters and want to follow their stories, start at the beginning. While narrators for the first ten audiobooks vary, books 10-20 are narrated by Audie Award-winning narrator January LaVoy. NYPD Red stop Principles By James Patterson, Marshall Karp Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, Jay Snyder 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Looking for a detective series set on the East Coast? James Patterson has you covered with the NYPD Red series, starring NYPD Detective Zach Jordan. Zach thought his job was rough when he was assigned a new partner—who turned out to be his ex-girlfriend, Kylie MacDonald. But things go from bad to worse when a Hollywood producer dies, jumpstarting a puzzling series of murders that rock NYC. There are five audiobooks in this series, all narrated by Ballerini and Jay Snyder, making it a great one to try if you don't want to commit to a series with more than a handful of audiobooks: NYPD Red, NYPD Red 2, NYPD Red 3, NYPD Red 4, and Red Alert. Step on a Crack stop Principles By James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge Narrated by John Slattery, Reg Rogers 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. If you enjoy high-stakes thrillers in the vein of the Jack Reacher series, then you'll definitely want to try the Michael Bennett series. Michael Bennett is an NYPD detective who is called in on the most complicated of cases. At the start of the series, he's just lost his wife and is contending with having to raise their ten children alone when a crisis shakes the city: a criminal uses the funeral of the late First Lady as an opportunity to take 34 powerful people hostage. This is a 12-audiobook ongoing series, with a couple of in-between novellas from James Patterson's BookShots stories. Start with Step on a Crack. Texas Ranger stop Principles By James Patterson Narrated by Christopher Ryan Grant 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In this tension-packed release, James Patterson takes his talent for mystery and thriller stories to the heart of Texas. Rory Yates is a Texas Ranger with a long career, but that's put into jeopardy when he comes home to a grisly scene: his ex-wife, murdered. Everyone's pointing the finger at him, so Rory is going to have to work fast to prove he isn't responsible. The audiobook is narrated excellently by Christopher Ryan Grant, and if you enjoy this listen, be sure to pick up the sequel, Texas Outlaw. Invisible stop Principles By James Patterson, David Ellis Narrated by January LaVoy, Kevin Collins 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In the standalone thriller Invisible narrated by January LaVoy and Kevin Collins, FBI Agent Emmy Dockery is certain there is a link between hundreds of unsolved cases—but no one will believe her. Forced to take a leave of absence, Emmy spends her time at home, trying to prove her theories...until the day she finds a missing link and takes this evidence to her boyfriend, an FBI field agent. With more murders being reported by the day, Emmy will have to move fast in order to prove that there's one person behind these crimes, and catch them before they can hurt anyone else. Emmy takes on another shocking case in a sequel, Unsolved. Sam's Letters to Jennifer stop Principles By James Patterson Narrated by Anne Heche, Jane Alexander 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Many people tend to forget that James Patterson is also the author of love stories that will appeal to fans of authors like Nicholas Sparks. In Sam's Letters to Jennifer, a woman is summoned back to the hometown she left years earlier, and finds a series of letters addressed to her that completely rewrite everything she thought she knew about her past. This audiobook is narrated by Anne Heche and Jane Alexander and was a 2005 Audie Award Finalist. It's also on the shorter side—perfect if you want a quick listen that is romantic and uplifting, proving that a single letter can have the power to change your life. The Murder House stop Principles By James Patterson, David Ellis Narrated by Therese Plummer, Jay Snyder 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Another outstanding standalone, this listen is about a gorgeous oceanfront property with dark and twisted secrets. Former NYPD detective Jenna has moved back to her hometown in the Hamptons in an attempt to distance herself from her past and get her career back on track. But when a famous Hollywood powerbroker and his mistress are found dead in the legendary murder house, Jenna finds the crime to be far more shocking and twisted than anything she ever encountered on the streets of New York City. To solve the crime, she must dive deep into the house’s secrets (and hometown gossip), putting her own life in jeopardy. Narrated by Therese Plummer and Jay Snyder, The Murder House is another great pick if you want a twisty murder mystery without the commitment of a long series. Along Came a Spider stop Principles By James Patterson Narrated by Taye Diggs 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. If you want a story that stars James Patterson's most iconic characters, then you need to check out an Alex Cross audiobook. With 27 audiobooks (and counting!) in the series, it can be a bit difficult to know where to start, but we recommend beginning with the very first audiobook, Along Came a Spider—a high-stakes thriller introducing Alex Cross, a Washington, DC homicide detective with a PhD in psychology. The 25th-anniversary edition is masterfully narrated by actor Taye Diggs.Cross is also a devoted father, but his relationship with the first female supervisor of the Secret Service is about to put him in terrible danger from a criminal mastermind who has outsmarted every law enforcement agency in the country. And if you like what you hear, rest easy knowing there are plenty more Alex Cross audiobooks for a marathon-listen, the most recent of which is Criss Cross. Instinct stop Principles By James Patterson, Howard Roughan Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In this listen, a serial killer has been terrorizing New York City and leaving behind playing cards at each murder scene. Detective Elizabeth Needham is in charge of this case, which is growing more and more sensationalized by the minute. In the hopes of stopping the killer, she turns to Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a brilliant professor of behavioral psychology who wrote the book on abnormal behavior…literally. When they discover that each playing card is a hint at the next victim, the race is on—but it may end up revealing a lot about Dylan's past. Instinct was the basis of a television show of the same name. This gripping audiobook is brilliantly narrated by Patterson favorite Edoardo Ballerini, who also narrates the sequel, Killer Instinct. The Cornwalls Are Gone stop Principles By James Patterson, Brendan DuBois - contributor Narrated by Lauren Fortgang, Edoardo Ballerini 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Another standalone pick, The Cornwalls Are Gone is a thriller about Army Intelligence Officer Amy Cornwall who has just returned to her home in Virginia to find it empty, her husband and 10-year-old daughter missing. Then the phone rings, and a voice informs her that she has 48 hours to commit a dangerous crime—free an anonymous war captive—or find her husband and daughter are dead. Unable to turn to anyone for help, Amy will have to pull off the perfect crime and risk everything in order to save her family. This is a good, twisty high-octane thriller, and although it's billed as the first in a series, there aren't any sequels out at the moment; so if you pick this one up, you may actually be ahead of the curve. The Cornwalls Are Gone is narrated by Lauren Fortgang and Edoardo Ballerini. Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot. 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