Audio Originals

Winner of the 2018 Audie award for best original work

I think Romeo and Juliet is the greatest, most tragic love story ever told. What David Hewson did with this script is so exciting to me. I really love the fact that he followed avenues that Shakespeare suggested but didn’t necessarily detail in depth. If you want to immerse yourself in a warm bath of Garganega and the heat of Verona and hear a brilliant story about a young woman who is challenging the restraints of her time, listen to this audiobook, which has romance, poetry, politics, and humor to spare.

Richard Armitage

It’s a story you think you know: the age-old tale of “star-cross’d lovers”; two families at war; a romance, so pure and absolute, fated for a tragic end. It’s a story so thoroughly embedded in our culture, and so frequently retold. Yet, nothing captures the spark, the possibility, and the surprise of Shakespeare’s work quite like this….

In Romeo and Juliet: A Novel, author David Hewson reworks and expands on the classic story so that it becomes something richer, something new and entirely its own. Much more than a simple love story, it is a brilliant examination of young versus old, hope against despair, and, for Juliet, the search for individual identity at a time when women were regarded as little more than chattel.

An original production commissioned by Audible, Romeo and Juliet: A Novel marks the second pairing of David Hewson and actor Richard Armitage, whose previous partnership resulted in Audible’s 2014 Audiobook of the Year, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel.

Consummate actor Richard Armitage narrates this dynamic reimagining of Romeo and Juliet. It’s an ideal construct for those reluctant to pursue Shakespeare. In addition to using contemporary slang, the author gives the followers of the Montague and Capulet families street cred: They wear red or blue feathers in their hats. Armitage makes even secondary characters unique, with Romeo’s and Juliet’s fathers sounding like the bitter old men they are. The standout is Juliet’s nurse, who provides comic relief. Chapter transitions are faultless, and descriptions of people and places are stellar. Juliet’s social conscience, specifically her desire to teach the peasants to read, adds further depth. Hewson boldly alters the story’s conclusion.


‘Life is real.. but this is Realer…’ Realer promises a new virtual reality, a safe and sanitised window into a virtual existence without the risks of the real, crumbling, post-pandemic society beyond the door.

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Mackintosh is a loner whose father works for the company. He gives her Realer for her birthday – only to be murdered as she watches through her high-tech hood at home.

Alone in a tense, post-lockdown world, Charlie has to turn to Realer to find his killers. She’s soon trapped in a murderous conspiracy behind a system that’s steadily beginning to take over people’s lives.

Charlie comes to understand that she can only hide from outside dangers for so long. In the end, the only way to defeat them is face-to-face, in the real world. A place she fears more than any.

A brand new audio exclusive for WF Howes, performed by Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones). Available through Audible, Apple iTunes, Amazon and other audio outlets.

In 2008, when the financial world was collapsing, Tom Honeyman worked as a reporter on a failing local newspaper in a fictional upstate New York town called Prosper. The sleepy little place is shocked by the vicious murders of a local teacher and her pupil who seem to have been having an affair, a story so notorious it soon gathers national attention.

Tom Honeyman arrives at his isolated Venetian island to start work. But he’s not alone…Read an extract now

Rich and briefly famous, Tom uses his unexpected wealth to buy a remote island in the north of the Venetian lagoon and the semi-derelict mansion there. It’s his bolthole, a writer’s paradise supposedly, cut off from the world without a phone signal, internet or easy access to the rest of the lagoon. The same kind of isolation one of his heroes, Ernest Hemingway, enjoyed not far away on Torcello while finishing Across the River and into the Trees.

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He also has a ritual. Every July he maroons himself on the island in the run-up to the Festa del Redentore, the third weekend of the month, a popular public festival. By the time the Redentore fireworks begin on Saturday night, Tom hopes to have either finished a new book or found the start of one.

But the phenomenal early success he’s enjoyed has vanished. He’s turning up in the lagoon for one last chance at finding inspiration and getting his career back on track.

Waiting for him in his decaying, isolated mansion is an unwanted intruder with a message: the man Tom named as the killer a decade or more before was innocent. Now Tom has to find who really committed the Mohawk Lake murders — without phone, internet, or any contact with the outside world. Just his memory and the information his unseen captor provides. And he must solve that riddle by the time the Redentore fireworks begin five days away… or he’s dead.

Tom Honeyman’s no longer writing to save his career. He’s pounding the keyboard to save his own skin.


(Hamlet) is the one of the most powerful listening experiences that I’ve had. The Times

With the launch of Macbeth: A Novel, co-written with A.J. Hartley, in 2011, David embarked upon new horizons in modern storytelling, with audiobook originals tailored to the ever-growing market for full-length, downloadable works. Both Macbeth and Hamlet broke the publishing mould by appearing in audiobook form before print.

These are adaptations of Shakespeare, not copies of the original, imaginative reworkings that retell the classics in a new light, using contemporary language but in their original historical settings. You can see Richard Armitage talking about Hamlet below.

English literature teachers worried about getting pupils entranced by Shakespeare should plug them in to this imaginative gloss on Hamlet before starting on the real thing. Hobbit-fanciers will rejoice to find that Richard “Thorin Oakenshield” Armitage is an outstandingly versatile narrator. The Times

It is a tale of ghosts, of madness, of revenge – of old alliances giving way to new intrigues. Denmark is changing, shaking off its medieval past. War with Norway is on the horizon. And Hamlet – son of the old king, nephew of the new – becomes increasingly entangled in a web of deception – and murder.

Struggling to find his place in this strange new order Hamlet tries to rekindle his relationship with Ophelia – the daughter of Elsinore’s cunning spy master, a man with plots of his own. Hamlet turns for advice and support to the one person he can trust — Young Yorick, the slippery, unruly jester, whose father helped Hamlet through a difficult childhood. And all the while the armed forces of Fortinbras, prince of Norway, start to assemble, threatening to bring down Elsinore forever.

Beautifully performed by actor Richard Armitage (“Thorin Oakenshield” in the Hobbit films), Hamlet, Prince of Denmark takes Shakespeare’s original into unexpected realms, reinventing a story we thought we knew. Shortlisted for the annual Audies award and acclaimed as Audible’s Book of the Year for 2014.


Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape on which they are played. Alan Cumming’s stunning narration put the work onto the shortlist for the annual Audie awards.

Macbeth is a war hero and a patriot, doing everything in his power to hold together Duncan’s crumbling kingdom, which is beset by sedition from within and with threats from overseas. But when Duncan, contrary to ancient Scottish tradition, turns to building a family dynasty instead of rewarding those who have borne the brunt of the fighting, Macbeth and his powerful wife, Skena, make plans of their own, plans designed to hold both the nation and their strained relationship together. Sinister figures who claim supernatural knowledge spur them on, but the terrible outcome is as much about accident and failure as it is malevolence. Soon Macbeth and his wife find themselves preeminent in all the land, but struggling to hold themselves and their country together as former friends turn into bitter and deadly enemies.

This is Macbeth as you have not heard it before: fresh, edgy, and vital. It is a story of valor in battle, whispering in shadows, witchcraft in the hollows of an ancient landscape, and the desperate struggle of flawed people to do what they think is right.

macbeth german

Now available from Audible.deMacbeth: Ein Epos is a thrilling dramatic version of the audiobook adaptation originally narrated by Alan Cumming, written by David with A.J. Hartley. Featuring a cast list of some of Germany’s finest actors, it takes the audiobook version back into the realm of drama, telling the bloody tale of Macbeth’s rise to the Scottish throne and eventual fall.

Nearly eight hours in length, it’s the story you thought you knew reimagined, an epic of warfare, struggle and love in the wilds of Scotland. David wrote the script based on our original audiobook. If you know the original adaptation you’ll recognise the essential story, but expect a few surprises too, and the excitement of a highly dramatic production.

Tobias Kluckert leads as a tortured but determined Macbeth, joined in tragedy by  Claudia Urbschat-Mingues as Lady Macbeth, a more sympathetic character than the usual production but no less steely..


Florence, 1986. A seemingly inexplicable attack on a church fresco of Adam and Eve brings together an unlikely couple: Julia Wellbeloved, an art student, and Pino Fratelli, a semi-retired detective who longs to be back in the field.

Their investigation leads them to the secret society that underpins the city, and back to the darkness in Florence’s past: the night of the great flood in 1966.

Rich in the culture of Tuscany’s most mysterious city, The Flood takes a dazzling trip back into the history of Florence, recent and as distant as that of the Medici. A stunning standalone from David Hewson to fit alongside the acclaimed Costa series.

First an audiobook exclusive from WF Howes narrated by Saul Reichlin, whose award-winning voice talent has graced the Costa series and made it such a favourite with listeners. Now in print too.

The Times made The Flood their lead audio review and said…

The pace is leisurely at first: two small boys separately traumatised in childhood, an ailing retired detective combining forces with an attractive English art historian to solve a mysterious assault on the famous Adam and Eve fresco in the Brancacci Chapel, Florence. But soon historic floods, gruesome murders, orgies, corruption on high and the Red Brigade are skilfully knitted together with abused Renaissance works of art into an accumulation of dread that will have you shrieking, “Don’t go there” to our heroine. She does, of course — and you can’t skip to the end to lessen the tension.

You can find more details at Whole Story Audio. The audiobook is also available from Audible around the world, including Audible UK and Audible US.