Best of the Year 2019 Mysteries and Thrillers

Mysteries & Thrillers Winner: Evil Eye

"Mysteries and thrillers are an escape—right? Their breathless pace, engaging puzzles, and satisfying conclusions distract us from the banality and untidiness of real life. But the genre has always spoken truths to those of us listening—truths that are no less vital for being frightening.

Illuminating the effects of US drug and immigration policy, Don Winslow’s epic Cartel trilogy ended with a banger (speaking of satisfying conclusions), voiced by the incomparable Ray Porter. Two works in translation—Nobel winner Olga Tokarczuk’s eccentric murder mystery and M. T. Edvardsson’s knockout #MeToo-era procedural—brought an essential international perspective, which came to life via extraordinary narration. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides roamed the familiar territory of marital drama with uncommon psychological acumen and the bloody scale of Greek tragedy.

But nothing hit harder than Evil Eye, Madhuri Shekar’s riveting play that turned everything we thought we knew about meddlesome mothers—and frankly, what an audio thriller can be—on its head. In less than two hours, it took us for a wild ride via long distance phone calls, a brilliant ensemble cast, and a refreshing Indian American narrative. Along the way, Shekar whispered deep truths about generational and cultural divides, female intuition, and a mother’s love. For me, that was the ultimate thrill." —Kat, Audible Editor