[Free Audiobooks] Stalking the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco & Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [YA Historical Horror Thriller & 19th C German Classic Play]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of dubious partnerships with morally suspect entities, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on May 20th.

  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, read by Nicola Barber, from Hachette Audio. A Victorian-era YA historical thriller with horror elements and f/m romantic elements, starring an a high society lord’s daughter who secretly studies forensic medicine in her uncle’s laboratory alongside his apprentice, and finds herself on the trail of a serial killer.

  • Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, performed by a full cast including veteran actor Derek Jacobi, from Naxos Audiobooks. T he 19th century German classic play based on the even older legend of a man who is tempted to sell his soul to a devil for power and pleasure, which he begins to regret upon falling in love.

This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.

You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.

Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 20th, available worldwide.

[Free eBook REPEAT] The Fallen Omnibus by Robert Don Hughes [Sci-Fi Conspiracy Thriller]

The Fallen Omnibus by Robert Don Hughes is a collected edition comprising the 1st & 2nd novels in his The Fallen duology of science fiction conspiracy thrillers with strong theological and time travel elements, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture Press imprint.

This contains The Fallen and The Eternity Gene, both originally published in 1995 & 1999, respectively, by Broadman & Holman, a dedicated religious publisher imprint. The author has also written mainstream fantasy novels for Ballantine’s Del Rey imprint, which are also reprinted by Venture.

The duology stars an academic pastor who gets caught up in a supposed alien abduction scheme with a strange agenda, and ends up taking time-traveling journeys to uncover the truth, which may not involve actual aliens at all. The original novel of the abduction and the mystery behind it was written standalone, and in the follow-up sequel, he discovers the root of the conspiracy and its intended plans.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Cusp of Night by Mae Clair [Supernatural Investigative Mystery/Thriller]

Cusp of Night by Mae Clair is the 1st novel in the Hode’s Hill series of supernatural investigative mystery/thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Kensington’s Lyrical Press imprint.

This is Barnes & Noble’s featured Free Fridays selection for the weekend. The series is set in modern-day Pennsylvania in a small town where a recent arrival has become fascinated by the local folklore, which includes supernatural creatures.

This installment sees her turned amateur sleuth to uncover the truth behind an assault upon a prominent citizen during the annual “Fiend Fest” commemorating a dreadful local legend, as she seeks the truth behind who might have it out for the members of the town’s founding family and the long-ago secrets tied up with assorted disappearances and murders, with the aid of the journal of a 19th century spiritualist who once inhabited her newly moved-into house and was believed to have been one of the fiend’s victims, who might not have disappeared from this mortal plane just yet.

Offered in the US only through Sunday (Eastern Time), exclusively at B&N.

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[Free eBook] The Grey Shepherds by Angus MacVicar [Vintage 1960s Scotland Murder Mystery/Espionage Thriller]

The Grey Shepherds by the late Scottish author Angus MacVicar, a crime thriller author who also wrote a popular juvenile science fiction series adapted to radio and TV during the 1950s, is a standalone murder mystery/espionage thriller novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1964 by John Long.

The story is set in London and Scotland during the 1960s, starring a freelance journalist who recently covered a story about a convicted spy, who begins to believe a young woman’s suspicious death in the Scottish Highlands is in fact linked and part of a larger cover-up by a dangerous spy ring which begins to target him.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook REPEAT] Villa Mimosa by Jerrard Tickell [WWII Literary Heist Thriller Satire]

Villa Mimosa by the late Irish author Jerrard Tickell, whose WWII comedy novel Appointment with Venus has been twice adapted to film, is his standalone historical literary fiction heist thriller, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1960 by Hodder & Stoughton.

The story is a literary novel with satirical elements, framed as a heist thriller, taking place in occupied France during World War II, and is centred around a daring British military operation to rescue a group of eccentric civilians from an area previously thought safely evacuated.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] The Painted Doll Affair by Angus MacVicar [Vintage 1970s Scotland Mystery Thriller]

The Painted Doll Affair by the late Scottish author Angus MacVicar, a crime thriller author who also wrote a popular juvenile science fiction series adapted to radio and TV during the 1950s, is the 2nd novel in the Bruce McClintock series of investigative mystery/thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1973 by John Long Limited. The series takes place in Scotland during the 1970s, starring a freelance journalist who is also a private investigator, after cleaning up his act.

This story incorporates elements of Celtic myth, as a potentially unreliable tip-off about a planned assassination leads the sleuth and his friends to a coastal village plagued by both a drug problem amongst youths and a superstitious populace living in fear of rumoured worshippers of the old ways seeking sacrifice victims, only to find a grander and more threatening plot than originally appears.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Stalin’s Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith [Award-Nominated Russia Police Procedural Political Mystery/Thriller]

Stalin’s Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith, a recipient of the Gold Dagger Award and multiple finalist for the Edgar Award, is a 6th novel in the Arkady Renko series of contemporary police procedural mystery/political crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Simon & Schuster UK.

This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store, and was a finalist for the 2007 Hammett Prize named in honour of classic noir author Dashiell Hammett. The long-running series is set throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union from the Cold War 1980s and onward, starring a chief investigator of the Soviet police force and his changing fortunes throughout the decades, often touching upon historical events and political topics of the day.

This installment is set during the modern Putin era, during which he has been relegated to investigating crackpot reports of ghost sightings on the Moscow subway, which nevertheless lead him to a string of murders which may or may not have their roots in the Chechen War.

Offered in the UK only, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] Vienna Blood by Adrian Mathews [Award-Winning Science Fiction Mystery/Thriller]

Vienna Blood by Paris-resident British expat author Adrian Mathews is a standalone science fiction murder mystery/thriller, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

This was originally published in 1999 by Jonathan Cape, was then picked up by Random House’s Vintage and HarperCollins’ HarperTorch imprints, and won the Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger Award in 1999 for Best Novel.

The story is set in 2026, where a Viennese reporter is put on the trail of a drunken acquaintance’s sudden mysterious death, and begins seeking an explanation via a dangerous search in the real world and cyberspace in a dark future where information technology and genetic engineering have become sinister allies.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] 100 Hours by Rachel Vincent [YA Suspense/Survival Thriller]

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent is the 1st novel in the 100 Hours duology of young adult contemporary suspense/survival thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher HarperCollins’ Katherine Tegen Books imprint.

This is Barnes & Noble’s featured Free Fridays selection for the weekend. The duology stars six Florida teens from Miami on a spring break vacation in Colombia, who are kidnapped for ransom and held for ransom deep in the jungle in a seemingly random move, but of which one teen knows a secret reason why they were targeted.

This installment sets up the tensions in the group as well as their kidnapping, and their initial attempts to thwart and escape their captors, only to find the jungle possibly deadlier as they try to survive.

Offered in the US only, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] American Assassin by Vince Flynn [Film-Adapted Espionage Action Thriller]

American Assassin by the late Vince Flynn is the 11th novel in the Mitch Rapp series of political espionage action thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Simon & Schuster UK.

This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store. The series stars an undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent working to thwart attacks upon the US, and is being adapted into a series of films, the first of which came out in 2017, based on this novel and starring Dylan O’Brien.

The story is apparently a prequel flashback to the main character’s 1980s-era recruitment into the agency from his student days at University, and his first assignment in Istanbul, amidst the period tensions with the Middle East.

Offered in the UK only, available at multiple retailers.

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