Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of January 30th.
Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!
Authors, narrators, producers, and publishers — any of the books featured here are prime candidates for review.
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The Messy Man by Chris Sorensen
Narrated by Chris Sorensen
Ellen Marx sees ghosts.
Her mother, Rita, just wants her to be a “normal” 11-year-old kid. But that’s tough to do when you receive a birthday card from your dead father.
Following a trail of breadcrumbs left by her dad, Ellen sets out on a journey to unravel the mystery surrounding her father’s disappearance and ends up unearthing secrets best left buried.
The third and final book in the haunting trilogy, The Messy Man brings to a close the story that began with The Nightmare Room and The Hungry Ones.
Ever Winter by Peter Hackshaw
Narrated by Dan Stevens
Narrated by award-winning actor Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast, FX’s Legion) Ever Winter is a vivid and eloquent story of loss, rehabilitation, and revenge set in a post-apocalyptic ice world.
Far from the savage remnants of humanity, Henry and his family have managed to survive the grip of desolate, perpetual winter on a vast tundra that was once an ocean teeming with life. When the family is discovered, their peaceful existence is shattered and their lives changed forever.
Henry’s siblings are kidnapped, leaving him alone in the ruins of their home. Broken, altered, and tormented by all that has befallen him, he is driven to wreak vengeance upon those who assume him dead…by any means necessary.
Fans of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven will enjoy the raw, emotional pull of debut author Peter Hackshaw’s writing.
We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
An extraordinary and emotional adventure about unlikely friends and the power of choosing who you want to be.
Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories – a power he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food, and books.
Zoe is also searching for her past, and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it.
When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else – and yourself.
Blind Trust by John W. Feist
Narrated by Michael Kramer
In the post-COVID near future, mysterious explosions cripple Japan’s power infrastructure. Tokyo’s lights go dark, and bullet trains grind to a halt. Brad Oaks and wife, Amaya Mori, put family plans on hold to answer a call for help from Japan’s new prime minister. What power can Japan’s first woman prime minister wield – even in her own family? What good can come from a nationwide power outage? Russia, China, and America have high stakes in solutions to these puzzles.
The Odds by Jeff Strand
Narrated by Scott Thomas
After a disastrous evening playing slot machines, Ethan Caustin wonders how he’s going to explain his massive loss to his wife and kids. As he tries to find his way out of the casino, sick to his stomach and filled with self-loathing, he’s approached by a stranger who offers a solution to his problem.
It’s a simple game. A 99 percent chance for him to win $10,000. In the remote chance that he loses…well, he’ll be strapped into a device that shatters his left arm.
The odds are very much in his favor. But this is only the first round.
As the game goes on, the prizes and penalties keep changing, along with his chances of winning. As the high stakes get out of control and Ethan desperately wants to quit, he’ll learn that they’ve only offered him one means of escape: Play the game to the very end….
A thrilling novel of suspense from the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Pressure and My Pretties.
The Groomer by Jon Athan
Narrated by Harry Roger Williams III
Andrew McCarthy grows concerned for his family after he catches a young man, Zachary Denton, photographing his daughter, Grace McCarthy, and other children at a park. To his dismay, Zachary talks his way out of trouble when he’s confronted by the police. He hopes that’s the end of it. Then he finds Zachary at a diner and then at a grocery store. He knows their encounters aren’t coincidences. And just as Andrew prepares to defend his family, Grace vanishes.
As the police search stalls and the leads dry up, Andrew decides to take matters into his own hands. He starts by searching for sex offenders in the area and researching enhanced interrogation techniques…. He convinces himself he’ll do anything to rescue his daughter, unaware of the pure evil he’ll face in his journey. He’s willing to hurt – to torture – anyone to save his family.
Jon Athan, the author of Into the Wolves’ Den and The Abuse of Ashley Collins, delves into the underworld of internet predators in this disturbing horror novel. Are your children safe?
WARNING: This book contains graphic content. Listener discretion is advised.
Dreams in Black Static by Ambrose Ibsen
Narrated by Joe Hempel
Two roommates stumble upon a mysterious and disturbing videotape. After watching it, one of them vanishes….
A heart transplant recipient gets much more than he bargained for when he digs into his donor’s sinister past….
Mourning the death of their son, a young couple is plunged into madness after encountering something otherworldly in the wilderness….
Dreams in Black Static is a collection of eight terrifying stories by Ambrose Ibsen, author of The Haunting of Beacon Hill and Asylum. The tales included are: “Me and Mr. Ray”, “Decatur Road”, “Dreams in Black Static”, “Distortional Addict”, “Trim”, “Subterrane Dream”, “Orchard”, and “The Uncanny”.
The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie
Narrated by James Patrick Cronin
David Young, Deacon Price, and Beth Harris live with a dark secret. As children, they survived a religious group’s horrific last days at the isolated mountain Red Peak. Years later, the trauma of what they experienced never feels far behind.
When a fellow survivor commits suicide, they finally reunite and share their stories. Long-repressed memories surface, defying understanding and belief. Why did their families go down such a dark road? What really happened on that final night?
The answers lie buried at Red Peak. But truth has a price, and escaping a second time may demand the ultimate sacrifice.
Against All Odds by Kris Bryant, Maggie Cummings, M. Ullrich
Narrated by Melissa Sternenberg
Bold Strokes Books
Police Officer Peyton Clarke and Real Estate Agent Tory Stevens are complete strangers who experience an instant attraction during a moment of shared misery: trying on bridesmaids dresses. But their flirtation comes to an abrupt end when Bradley Richter enters Angelina’s Bridal Boutique determined to end every life in the store. He’s deranged, heartbroken, and sure of his sharpshooting skills, but he has miscalculated. Two survive.
Peyton is determined to capture the guy who killed 11 people, but for Tory, the tragedy is a wake-up call to open herself up to more than professional success. She and Peyton learn that love can be found in the most hopeless of places. They escaped death once, but will they survive when Bradley’s determined to make his kill rate 100 percent?
Moonstone by Jaime Clevenger
Narrated by Lori Prince
Moving back to her hometown was never at the top of Joy Henderson’s to-do list. With a successful career in San Francisco and plenty of opportunity for casual relationships, the last thing Joy wants is to return to the small town she’d planned her whole life to escape. But family obligations pull her back home, and it isn’t long before Joy runs into someone she’s always dreamed of seeing again – the first girl she ever imagined kissing. Kelsey West.
Olympic dreams are a thing of the past for Kelsey. Now an out-of-work swim coach recovering from a bad relationship, she’s back home only long enough to get her life together. When she learns that Joy Henderson, the high-school crush she never forgot, is also back in town, she can’t help but wonder if there’s a chance to rewrite the past.
Time has changed their hometown. Time has changed Kelsey and Joy. But when it comes to two women who have never trusted love – has time changed them enough?
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Narrated by Emily Ellet
Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.
Then There Was You by Mona Shroff
Narrated by Soneela Nankani
Can a perfect love heal even your deepest wounds?
As a helicopter medic, Daniel Bliant saves other people’s lives. He’s cool under pressure, a calm presence for trauma victims on the worst day of their lives. So why can’t he heal himself? When he answers an emergency call at Phil’s Bar, he can’t believe who the bartender is: the beautiful woman he saw in his ER months ago and hasn’t been able to stop thinking about. But even though Annika is intelligent, lively, and gorgeous, he knows he should forget her. He hasn’t worked through his own trauma after the incident that left him shattered, so how can he possibly think about love?
Annika Mehta loves her job as a kindergarten teacher, even if the low pay means she has a side gig tending bar at Phil’s. She may be reeling from a bad breakup and the terrible event that caused it, but she knows she’s resilient. What she doesn’t need is Daniel. He’s wrong for her in every single way, but somehow, she can’t let him go.
This tear-jerker of a romance follows two souls in need of healing – when all roads lead back to each other.
Teammates: On Ice by Alison Sommer
Narrated by Lessa Lamb
For Patricia “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, hockey is her only escape from her controlling husband and the isolation of her suburban life. When the drama on her team threatens that one happiness, Fitz takes matters into her own hands. She convinces three of her teammates – Michelle, Dawn, and Tessa – to join her in building a new team. The Darts.
The Darts have the potential to be something fantastic – if they can survive their first season. As Fitz’s marriage takes a dark turn, she puts more pressure on the team to succeed. When personal issues with Michelle endanger that success, the Darts begin to crack. Can these four unlikely friends learn to trust and support each other before it all falls apart?
Brew by Tracy Ewens
Narrated by Sebastian York
If only life came with instructions.
Boyd McNaughton is working on balance. He is a father, a brewmaster, and the oldest brother of four. When he’s not running Foghorn Brewery with two of his brothers, his days are packed with carpools, teenage angst, and well-intentioned school moms determined to send him on the perfect blind date. After a simple argument ends with a visit to the emergency room, Boyd discovers the one thing he’s been neglecting – his life.
Ella Walters is working on connection. Having grown up in a less-than-affectionate family of overachievers, she moved to Petaluma for a slower pace and to escape her past. She has friends now instead of accolades, chooses chocolate croissants over super foods, and cherishes the peace that’s replaced the drama. Sure, she occasionally misses the buzz of the San Francisco General Hospital ER, but Ella is learning that navigating a fuller life can be just as exciting.
When Boyd’s son, Mason, seeks out Dr. Ella for “advice” and Boyd stumbles all over her newly healed heart, she finds herself longing for something she never knew existed. But families are messy, and they’ll both need to let go of the past if they want to find a future that’s more than by the book.