My first seven audio crime books
1) Gun Street Girl and Rain Dogs, by Adrian McKinty. The author is a friend. He's also one of the very best of all crime writers, far beyond silly discussions about whether crime fiction can be serious literature. His probing, funny, beautifully written novels are unafraid to use traditional crime fiction forms, including the locked-room mystery. Whichever crime writer you're reading, McKinty is better.
2) Grinder and Darwin's Nightmare, by Mike Knowles. Some of the most exciting and intelligent action stories you're likely to read, exciting because they're intelligent and intelligent because they're exciting. Readers who like Richard Stark's Parkerd novels or "Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai" might like these.
3) One or the Other and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, by John McFetridge. No one better and more seamlessly combines character, story, and history, in this case that of Montreal and Toronto in the 1970s and '80s.
4) Montalbano's First Case, by Andrea Camilleri. Among the delights of this short-story collection is one harrowing meta-fiction that at once demonstrates Camilleri's ability to write hyper-violence and shows why he chose not to do so.