Continuing the focus on audiobooks during June’s celebration of the pleasures of having a story read to you, here are five narrators known (among other things) for the way they give voice to thrillers of all sorts. Each is a sure bet to suggest to listeners hoping for some mysteries and thrills to pass the traffic-filled hours driving to summer destinations.
- Ghost Ship by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown, read by Scott Brick (Penguin Audio). Brick has read Cussler for years so he well knows how to keep the pace quick, the accents distinct, and the atmosphere tense. His easy-on-the-ear voice adapts to all manner of stories, but here he lends his talents to the newest adventure from the “NUMA Files,” as Kurt Austin searches for Sienna Westgate, a cybersecurity expert thought dead.
- The Heist by Daniel Silva, read by George Guidall (Harper Audio).
Guidall is a legend in the audiobook world and has read a wide range of thrillers. He has shared the reading of Silva’s Gabriel Allon books with other notable narrators such as John Lee, Simon Vance, and Frank Muller, but this July it is Guidall who returns to read the next fast-paced and high-stakes mission of Israel’s top spy. Guidall won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Audio Publishers Association Audie’s ceremony this year.
- Unleashed by David Rosenfelt, read by Grover Gardner (Listen & Live Audio).
Gardner is a multitalented narrator, and in the fun and charming Andy Carpenter crime novels his ability to deliver one-liners, his quick wit, and his mastery of pacing and accents really shine. Carpenter is a lawyer who loves dogs. In this 11th of the long-running series he rescues his accountant, who has gotten caught up in a murder plot, and, of course, helps another dog. Gardner was honored with a 2014 Audie Award for this reading. The 12th book in the series, Hounded, will be out in July.
- Three Jack Reacher Novellas by Lee Child, read by Dick Hill (Random Audio).
Hill’s rumbling, resonant voice perfectly matches the steady and strong character of Reacher, Child’s ex-MP who travels across the country making things right. Hill has narrated the Reacher novels from the start (18 books ago), and his management of pace and emotion captures the tautness and intrigue of Child’s writing expertly. Here he lends his voice to a compilation of Reacher short stories.
- The Target by David Baldacci, read by Ron McLarty & Orlagh Cassidy (Blackstone Audio).
McLarty has long been the voice of Baldacci, bringing a rough, deep sound to his thrillers and pacing them brilliantly so the dialog flows and the tension stays high. The talented Cassidy joins McLarty for some of the author’s titles. Their narration of The Hit was awarded a 2014 Audie, but The Target is the latest Robie and Reel novel and finds the CIA assassins on a high-stakes mission in North Korea.