Best Psychological Thriller Audiobooks
Listing the best psychological thriller audiobooks is no mean feat. It’s a genre that’s exploded in popularity and one whose writers are prolific. K. L Slater alone releases about three books a year and most of them have a shout for being included. With so many great choices, I’ve approached this task in my own mercenary fashion, setting myself rules. It’s been tough. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear and unroll this parchment (ahem):
Only one book per author.
Nothing too obvious. I’m looking at you The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. Love you, but give someone else a turn.
Define your terms.
The first two required some deep soul searching and a Rocky style training montage. Number three though. That called for my thinking hat.
What is a Psychological Thriller?
Dark, suspenseful, mysterious, these are the illusionists of the fiction world. They paint a picture, only to reveal that nothing is as it seems.
Sometimes known as domestic thrillers or psychological suspense novels, psychological thriller audio books are multifaceted hybrids. Yes, they incite the fear, adrenaline rush, heart-in-your-throat excitement of a thriller. But these stories go beyond action and suspense, homing in on the mind, both of the characters and the readers. Their characters are twisted and sinister, often hiding their true nature until the very end. The reader is led through a labyrinth of deception, mystery and misdirection until the final reveal, the showdown, the culmination.
Perhaps the magic behind the best psychological thriller audiobooks is their exploration of the darkest parts of human nature. Or maybe it's the challenge of working out the truth.
Putting the Audio in Book
Finally, there are the narrators. The explosion of psychological thrillers has attracted the very best voice artists, from veteran audio stars like Julia Whelan to TV and film actors like Emilia Fox and Joanne Froggatt.
Best Psychological Thriller Audiobooks: Top 10
Joan Walker, Sarah Durham
Babies are buried in the garden. The final words uttered by Nicola’s grandmother. on her deathbed. Bear in mind, this isn't the climax of this story. Oh, no, no, no. That's just the opening salvo. Talk about starting at a hundred. And that, my friends is the level at which it stays as the story unfolds.
Sarah A. Denzil
Anni Taylor, Aimee Horne
Paranoia at the ready in this tale of she said, she said. When two terrified backpackers are found, broken, bruised and with totally different accounts of their ordeal, detectives must uncover the truth. Based in Australia’s Northern Territory, this is a truly chilling, layered story of false promises and misplaced trust. And if that’s not enough, it’s read in the charming accented voice of Aimee Horne.
There are crimes that society cannot forgive or forget. And when children commit brutal crimes, it’s hard not to wonder if they were born bad. Is there such a thing as inherent evil? If you, like me, are fascinated by this topic, this is one for you. Oh, and did I mention the narrator is Emilia Fox? Excuse me while I drop my mic.
Tamaryn Payne, Bea Holland, Dominic Thorburn
Lisa Jewell knows a thing or ten about creating mystery. And complex characters. And gripping plots. So, despite a slow first chapter, I put my trust in the old Jewellster and kept on truckin’. And wow, was I right to. This story and all the characters in it are bonkers. In a good way. And all the bad ones. This deep dive into controlling human behaviour goes from strength to strength building to a dramatic ending.
Clare Corbett, Vicki Hall, Simon Bubb, Jot Davies, Sophie Aldred
It’s an alluring promise. You can meet The One. Your soulmate. And all through a simple DNA test. But is it too good to be true? Well. It wouldn’t be a psychological thriller if the answer was no… Performed by a fantastic cast, this seduced me with its sci-fi premise and thrilled me to the end.
Picking K L Slater’s best book was like trying to choose between cake and another cake. So right yet so very, very wrong. In the end, I chose this gripping tale of family secrets and betrayal. Also good are Blink, Safe With Me and Liar. Dammit. Broke the rules.
Tim Bruce, Jane Slavin, Kris Dyer, Jonathan Keeble, Joan Walker, Julius Howe, Rebecca Rainsford
A family bludgeoned to death. And the sole surviving daughter is accused of the crime. Arla is that girl and now she's talking to podcaster Scott King. Told in the style of a deep-dive true crime podcast and performed by a large cast, this is both brilliantly written and beautifully produced.
A group of psychopaths anonymously assembled on one university campus. What could go wrong? Right? Well, spoiler alert. Things go wrong. Murdery wrong. This unique book make you guess not at who the psychopath is, but rather which one is the culprit. Tinged with a dark humour that narrator Brittany Pressley delivers with aplomb, this is a must add to your psychological thriller audio books TBR list.
Adele Parks’ first foray into the world of psychological thrillers is an absolute gem. Having loved her previous works in women’s fiction, I was unprepared for the shift in tone, but I got on board. Fast. Strap in, because this one’s full of surprises.
One adjective you don’t expect to apply to psychological thriller audiobooks is charming, but this is. It’s told from the perspective of Maud, an elderly lady suffering from Alzheimers and a thoroughly lovely narrator. If your granny told you scary murder stories, they’d be like this.
Rest of the Best Psychological Thriller Audiobooks
A top ten doesn't do justice to all the fantastic psychological thriller audiobooks out there. Have a browse below for more excellent examples of the genre.