S.A. Cosby’s novels are more than gripping, gritty stories about crimes and who committed them. They’re dark and detailed maps to the landscape of the modern rural South, where racism, history, and poverty collide to create a fertile atmosphere for violence.

The brutal beauty of these novels requires a masterful voice to do them justice. Fortunately Adam Lazarre-White, who has narrated all of Cosby’s work, provides a deep, haunting resonance with his performance in All the Sinners Bleed (Macmillan Audio, 13 hours and 5 minutes). He portrays Titus Crown, a former FBI agent–turned–sheriff of small-town Charon, Virginia. Violence is etched into Charon’s history, and when a school shooting sheds light on other unspeakable crimes, Titus finds himself tracking a killer whose actions are steeped in the town’s ugly past.

Cosby, whose sense of place and the time in which we live is strong and unerring, grounds this serial killer novel in reality and themes he has examined before with so much insight: the price we pay for violence and our inability to let go of the past. Lazarre-White’s unforgettable baritone matches and enhances that sensibility, reflecting Titus’ bone-weary anger and regret, guiding us through this brutal, gory, scary page-turner.

“Inside we all rage the same,” muses one of the hard, fascinating women who populate Ivy Pochoda’s Sing Her Down (Macmillan Audio, 8 hours and 33 minutes). She’s right: The four women in this fiery modern western about feminine anger, class, injustice, and violence are angry at an unjust world.

The story focuses on two inmates, Florence “Florida” Baum, who grew up wealthy but veered off her privileged path, and Diosmary “Dios” Sandoval, a scholarship girl from Queens who grows dangerously obsessed with Florida and is determined to unmask her as a savage woman. When the two are released from prison, Dios follows Florida to Los Angeles, where they are destined for a legendary showdown.

 Acting as a one-woman Greek chorus to this inevitable face-off is Kace, another prisoner well acquainted with the dark side of life. Meanwhile, a cop named Lobos wrestles her own demons and races to stop the impending confrontation.

 A memorable group of readers—Frankie Corzo, Kimberly M. Wetherell, Sophie Amoss and Victoria Villarreal—give voice to these women, highlighting their individuality in a way that a single reader might not have managed.

Adrian McKinty’s The Detective Up Late (Blackstone Publishing, 9 hours and 16 minutes) feels like a gift, the sort of present you weren’t expecting but love with all your heart. The seventh book in the series follows Catholic detective Sean Duffy’s last case as a full-time member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. As a new decade begins, Duffy is leaving for Scotland with his girlfriend and young daughter. But first, he’s got to solve a case involving a missing teenager—and contend with his own violent impulses.

The great Gerard Doyle, who also provides excellent narration for Mick Herron’s Slough House series, shows his usual versatility with nuance, allowing him to deliver Duffy’s cynical asides with flair but also to reflect Duffy’s poetic nature. His ability to elevate minor characters is unparalleled, too: If anyone else is better at sneering very Irish insults in a voice of menace, I don’t know who it is.

Connie Ogle is a writer in Florida.