20 Best Thriller Audiobooks to Get Your Heart Racing

20 Best Thriller Audiobooks to Get Your Heart Racing


December 17, 2019
Few stories lend themselves to audio better than thrillers. Not only does listening give you time to play detective and try to figure out the mysteries with the characters, but it also adds to the suspense. There’s no way to quickly flip through the tense, nerve-wracking parts—and that’s what makes hearing them so much more exciting. Whether you enjoy classic detective thrillers, or something more sinister and psychological, there are endless stories to choose from. Here are the 20 best thriller audiobooks to get you started.
    • By: Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
    • Series: The Will Trent Series, Book 1
    • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
    • Release date: 08-11-06
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 5,546 ratings
    • Triptych, the first installment in Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series, is set in Atlanta, where women are being mutilated at the hands of a vicious serial killer. As his crimes cross unexpected boundaries, those attempting to crack the case are forced to do the same. Detective Michael Trent and vice cop Angie Polaski, former lovers turned steadfast enemies, must work together to find the murderer, but not without the help of an unlikely teammate—an ex-con who has stumbled upon the case. Narrator Michael Kramer gives a performance with the flair of noir, his voice reminiscent of detectives from the classic film genre.
    • By: Caroline Kepnes
    • Narrated by: Santino Fontana
    • Series: You, Book 1
    • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
    • Release date: 09-30-14
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 17,291 ratings
    • Caroline Kepnes’s You offers a dark perspective on murder mysteries unlike most. Told from the point of view of a serial killer obsessed with a striking, young writer, You places listeners in a unique position where they develop sympathy and understanding for Joe, the protagonist, all the while waiting with bated breath to see how his murderous plot will unfold. What makes listening to this story so gripping is that you feel like you’re hearing from Joe directly, slowly being entranced and trapped by him as twisted plans progress. Tony Award winner Santino Fontana’s empathetic, genuine depiction of Joe gets you into his head...more than you may like.
    • A Jack Reacher Novel
    • By: Lee Child
    • Narrated by: Dick Hill
    • Series: Jack Reacher, Book 1
    • Length: 17 hrs and 47 mins
    • Release date: 10-27-15
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 12,335 ratings
    • Lee Child’s debut novel (and the first story in the hit Jack Reacher series), Killing Floor tells the story of a man passing through the town of Margrave, Georgia...only to be arrested for murder almost immediately. Audie Award-winning narrator Dick Hill’s gravelly voice adds to the grit and grime of the character he portrays as he tries desperately to prove his innocence. His narrative pace lets you listen along and try and solve the mystery with Hill, while still keeping you on the edge of your seat and eager to hear what the next chapter will reveal.
    • A Novel
    • By: A. J. Finn
    • Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
    • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
    • Release date: 01-02-18
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 26,205 ratings
    • For fans of Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie, A. J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window is sure to satisfy. This listen tells the story of a reclusive woman, Anna, who is convinced she witnessed a crime at a neighbor’s home. A woman who loves to spy on her neighbors while drinking one-too-many glasses of wine, Anna must come to terms with what she saw as dark secrets begin to unfold around her. Actress Ann Marie Lee’s narration gives you insight into Anna’s mind, bringing her character to vivid life as she struggles to determine whether what she saw was a figment of her imagination—or something much worse.
    • By: Harlan Coben
    • Narrated by: Steven Weber
    • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
    • Release date: 09-26-17
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 7,597 ratings
    • Actor and audiobook fan favorite Steven Weber is unparalleled when it comes to setting a suspenseful tone. In Harlan Coben’s Don’t Let Go, Weber’s fast-paced narration makes it easy and exciting to follow along while his performance of Napoleon Nap Dumas, in particular, stands out with its boldness and wit. When Nap was in high school, his brother and brother’s girlfriend were found mysteriously dead near the railroad tracks. At the same time, Nap’s girlfriend Maura ended things suddenly and disappeared without a trace. Years later, as Nap investigates a murder case, he finds Maura’s fingerprints on the suspect’s car and has no choice but to face his past to help solve the murder.
    • A Novel
    • By: Sarah Pinborough
    • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck, Josie Dunn, Bea Holland, Huw Parmenter
    • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
    • Release date: 01-31-17
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 15,576 ratings
    • Louise, one of the main characters in Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes, is a single mom looking for love. When sparks fly with the wrong person—her new boss, David—as Louise simultaneously befriends his wife, Adele, things begin to get complicated. But while this story starts with a modern-day love triangle, it quickly evolves into something dark, revealing a deep flaw in Adele and David’s marriage. This intriguing listen is enlivened by four exceptional narrators telling the story in tandem, making it easy to keep track of different characters and narratives while adding a layer of complexity and nuance to the story.
    • By: Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
    • Length: 17 hrs and 1 min
    • Release date: 11-08-16
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 33,522 ratings
    • Though you may know Stephenie Meyer for her young adult series Twilight, she’s since turned toward the thriller genre. In The Chemist, a former government agent exposed to dark secrets is chased down after her team decides she’s a liability. Her only trusted companion is dead, and now she must live on the run. As the narrator of this ex-agent’s tale, Audie Award winner Ellen Archer successfully does what many narrators work for years to accomplish: giving each character a unique voice so that secondary and even tertiary characters stand out. Her lively, animated narration depicts the fiery mind of the protagonist on the run, leaving your heart racing with each word.
    • A Novel
    • By: Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Length: 19 hrs and 11 mins
    • Release date: 06-05-12
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 52,599 ratings
    • When the beautiful, fascinating Amy Dunne goes missing from her home after what looks to be a violent kidnapping, the natural suspect for the police is her husband, Nick. He furiously maintains his innocence, and with a marriage that seemed so perfect, even effortless, it’s difficult to imagine he could’ve harmed the woman he loved. But as incriminating secrets begin to find their way into the public eye, it becomes clear that neither Amy nor Nick were as content and happy as they pretended to be. Told in an immersive narrative style that alternates between the intimate perspectives of Nick and Amy, this story will have you looking at the people in your life and wondering how well you really know them after all. With dual-narration from Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne, the result is what one Audible listener called “completely rave worthy” as you can feel the angst, anger, apathy, vengeance, brokenness, tension, and the myriad of other emotions through their voices.
    • By: Alex Michaelides
    • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins, Louise Brealey
    • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
    • Release date: 02-05-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 39,122 ratings
    • The Silent Patient is a listen that turns the thriller genre on its head. After all, from the beginning of this story, we know exactly who the killer is: Alicia Berenson. A fabulous and famous painter with a seemingly perfect life, Alicia captures the fascination of the public and becomes an object of obsessions, when she abruptly murders her husband one night in their beautiful London home and then falls silent, refusing to speak. One of the obsessed is Theo Farber, a criminal psychologist who can’t rest until he’s uncovered Alicia’s secrets. Narrating partners Jack Hawkins and Louise Brealey play the many characters in this story to perfection, illustrating each person’s personality, nuances, and degree of innocence (...or guilt) in exquisite and emotional detail. And even if you’re a frequent thriller listener, you may be surprised to find that this is one case you can’t solve yourself.
    • By: David Baldacci
    • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
    • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
    • Release date: 07-23-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 9,284 ratings
    • Shortly after being released from prison and on the hunt for his first job during parole, Archer, a former World War II soldier, finds himself in a situation that could send him right back to where he came from. In One Good Deed by David Baldacci, the listener is brought along on Archer’s journey as he is forced to prove his innocence as the suspected murderer in a small town, using skills gleaned from prison and the battlefield to solve the case. Audie Award winner Edoardo Ballerini’s narration makes Archer’s journey to vindicate himself all the more unforgettable. His tone is confident and strident, with the perfect air of mystery as he seamlessly switches between the different people of the province, expertly portraying both male and female characters.
    • By: Thomas Harris
    • Narrated by: Frank Muller
    • Series: Hannibal Lecter Series, Book 2
    • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
    • Release date: 04-07-11
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 4,358 ratings
    • Though most people recognize The Silence of the Lambs from its brilliant film adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, the novel it’s based on is truly superb in its own right. A followup to Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon, which introduced audiences to the chilling yet charming cannibalistic killer Hannibal Lecter, this listen follows FBI agent Clarice Starling as she is assigned to the case of a mysterious serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. And in order to get inside a killer’s mindset and crack the case, Starling finds an unlikely bedfellow in Lecter. Frank Muller’s performance is nothing short of excellent. He changes his timbre and voice to match the pace of the piece, flitting between different accents with ease, so that even if you already know the ending, you’ll still enjoy listening along again and again.
    • A Novel
    • By: Dan Brown
    • Narrated by: Paul Michael
    • Series: Robert Langdon, Book 2
    • Length: 16 hrs and 59 mins
    • Release date: 01-01-06
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 11,228 ratings
    • Following the success of Angels & Demons, Dan Brown brings expert symbologist Robert Langdon back to solve another murder in The Da Vinci Code. When Professor Langdon and cryptologist Sophie Neveu are called in regarding a violent crime perpetrated at the Louvre, they’re soon thrown into a battle between extreme religious sects that unlocks a world of unforeseen puzzles and mysteries. One of the benefits of listening to this thriller is your ability to analyze and solve the case alongside Langdon. Paul Michael delivers this listen with ease, teetering between quick and meandering. It’s easy to find yourself not only breezing through this story, but also deep-diving into the alternate religious history Dan Brown has crafted.
    • By: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
    • Release date: 01-09-18
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 29,977 ratings
    • In The Wife Between Us, an ex-wife stalks her replacement, a near-carbon copy of herself. Vanessa, the divorceé, tracks Nellie, who is promised to her ex-husband, despite knowing very little of the wedding plans. Vanessa is determined to prevent their marriage and will do whatever she can to stop it. Nellie, on the other hand, isn’t even sure if she’s ready to get married. But as the date draws closer...so does Vanessa. Despite the tension between the two women, Audie Award winner Julia Whelan narrates with a pleasant, deep voice, moving between masculine and feminine characters with ease. Her performance is sure to keep listeners guessing, unsure of who is lying and who is telling the truth in this twisted tale.
    • A Novel
    • By: Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
    • Release date: 01-13-15
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 135,662 ratings
    • In The Girl on the Train, Rachel Watson, recently divorced and slowly crumbling under the weight of alcoholism, is forced to relive her pain each time her train passes by her former home—where her ex-husband now resides with the woman he left her for—on her daily commute. To dull the pain, liven up her dreary life, and further self-destruct, Rachel crafts idealistic stories about their neighbors, imagining up lives she wishes she could have herself. But when Rachel sees something shocking through the train window, and can’t help but dig into what happened, she sets off a chain of events with shocking consequences. Rachel’s perspective isn’t the only one you’ll hear in this twisty listen—two other women complete the story, sharing experiences that will leave listeners sifting through each version for grains of truth. Each of the three narrators craft bold portraits of each character, making you sympathize with each perspective quickly...and wonder who, exactly, has the most accurate version of reality.
    • By: Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
    • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
    • Release date: 12-09-08
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,169 ratings
    • Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island tells the tale of an island that houses the eerie Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. In the summer of 1954, widower US Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule are called to Shutter Island to look for an escaped patient, Rachel Solando, a murderer who was locked away under closely guarded care. Narrator Tom Stechschulte avoids melodrama while keeping the suspense and tension mounting as Teddy and Chuck piece together the clues left behind by Rachel, while trying desperately to avoid being slowly driven to madness themselves.
    • By: Tom Clancy
    • Narrated by: Scott Brick
    • Series: Jack Ryan (chronological order), Book 3, Jack Ryan (publication order), Book 1
    • Length: 18 hrs and 42 mins
    • Release date: 05-15-18
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 5,514 ratings
    • Scott Brick’s performance of The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy makes this nearly 19-hour listen hard to pause. The Hall of Fame Narrator’s cool, calm delivery complements Jack Ryan’s gripping journey to find the Red October, a ballistic submarine coveted by both the Russians and the Americans. Set during the Cold War, CIA analyst Ryan has little to do with the investigation, until a photograph of the Red October lands on his desk, looping him into the mystery to find it. Now caught between two warring countries, he must hunt down the formidable undersea weapon as it moves West— before it falls into the wrong hands.
    • By: Patricia Highsmith
    • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
    • Series: Ripley, Book 1
    • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
    • Release date: 01-24-12
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 2,663 ratings
    • Patricia Highsmith’s beloved thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley was adapted into several films and a television series shortly after its smash-hit success. What makes this story such a fan favorite is no secret: Highsmith’s insights into the mind of a compassionless man determined to create—and steal—a carefree, luxurious life from his wealthy friends are utterly fascinating. Mr. Ripley, the main character, is brought to life by narrator Kevin Kenerly, who delivers each line with a jittery tension and anxiety, making listeners feel as nervous as Mr. Ripley himself. The worse things get, the more Mr. Ripley is driven to make violent, rash decisions that will have you feeling uneasy but eager to hear how it ends.
    • By: Nick Stone
    • Narrated by: David Thorpe
    • Length: 21 hrs and 17 mins
    • Release date: 12-28-14
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 7,640 ratings
    • If aligning yourself with your greatest enemy could make your career, would you do it? This is the essential question posed to legal clerk Terry Flynt when Vernon James, a millionaire accused of murder (who happens to be a man Flynt knows and loathes), needs his help to prove his innocence. Plunging into the details of the crime, Flynt also finds himself sinking down into the dark secrets of his own past, reliving the moments that derailed the course of his life and left James an enemy. David Thorpe, a former member of the BBC Radio Drama Company, superbly narrates this thrilling audiobook that explores the boundary between subjectivity and impartiality as well as how our emotions can influence what we believe is the truth. The Verdict: a dazzling, fast-paced mystery that’s designed to leave listeners craving answers.
    • By: Attica Locke
    • Narrated by: JD Jackson
    • Series: Highway 59, Book 1
    • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
    • Release date: 09-13-17
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 2,062 ratings
    • This thriller brings us to Lark, East Texas, where racial tension has been simmering just below its boiling point for decades. When Darren Matthews, a black Texas Ranger all too familiar with the prejudices of his hometown, is reluctantly called back, he arrives to find two people dead and decades of resentment and hate threatening to erupt catastrophically. Bluebird, Bluebird earns a spot on our list not only for being a hugely entertaining thriller, but also a timely look at the intersection of race and justice. It’s a gripping story placed in a rich, fully-realized setting that pairs Attica Locke’s skillful prose with narrator J.D. Jackson’s crisp, procedural performance.
    • By: David Baldacci
    • Narrated by: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Series: Amos Decker, Book 2
    • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
    • Release date: 04-19-16
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 17,003 ratings
    • It’s hard to go wrong with a David Baldacci mystery, and in The Last Mile, we get yet another excellent fast-paced thriller from the New York Times best selling author. In this installment, Detective Amos Decker of Baldacci’s Memory Man returns—this time, on a special FBI task force. Decker isn’t your average investigator. Thanks to lingering side effects from a football injury sustained years prior, he has an impeccable memory and is unable to forget a single detail of any given event. But when the detective finds himself engrossed in a potential wrongful conviction case that bears eerie similarities to his own life, he begins to question: Is it a coincidence or is it much, much more? Kyf Brewer and Orlagh Cassidy’s dual narration of the male and female characters elevate this story to a true performance, keeping the listener rapt as Decker clambers to solve the case—and, in doing so, uncovers secrets about the unsolved mysteries lingering in his past.


Inclusion in Audible’s “best audiobooks” series is based on a number of factors, including presence on Audible best seller lists,
listener ratings and reviews, Goodreads ratings, and input from the Audible Editors. All audiobooks featured here have a minimum
of 500 reviews averaging at least 4.5 stars, with some exceptions made for outstanding stories and performances.





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