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James Patterson Inks Multi-Project Development Deal With Audible; Aaron Paul, Krysten Ritter, Nathalie Emmanuel to Star in First Series (EXCLUSIVE)

James Patterson - Audible - Aaron
Rob Latour/Shutterstock (Paul); Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock (Ritter); Jason Merritt/Radarpics/Shutterstock (Emmanuel)

Amazon’s Audible signed a multi-project development and first-look deal with James Patterson, and the bestselling author already has several audio-only exclusive projects already in the works.

First on Patterson’s slate of Audible Originals is “The Coldest Case: A Black Book Drama,” performed by Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad,” “Westworld”), Krysten Ritter (“Breaking Bad,” “Jessica Jones”) and Nathalie Emmanuel (“Game of Thrones,” “Maze Runner”).

Four additional projects in active development at Audible will include original storylines from Patterson, introducing new characters and voices. Patterson’s Audible projects will also encompass for middle-grade audiences, which the author has cultivated through his “Middle School” series and other YA titles.

For “The Coldest Case: A Black Book Drama” — a prequel to Patterson bestseller “The Black Book” — the author collaborated with writers and executive producers Aaron Tracy of Friendly Heights (“Law & Order: SVU,” “Sequestered”) and Ryan Silbert of Origin Story Entertainment (“Stan Lee’s Alliances: A Trick of Light,” “The Girl Is in Trouble”).

In “The Coldest Case,” homicide detective Billy Harney sends his new partner, Kate, deep undercover to infiltrate a notorious Chicago drug ring. When several members of the ring turn up dead, Billy abruptly pulls Kate out, blowing her cover. Kate’s informant inside the gang disappears — along with the ring’s black book. As Billy and Kate investigate the ring’s murders, “they’ll be pulled into a dangerous web of corrupt politicians, vengeful billionaires, drugged pro-athletes, and violent, dark web conspiracies, all in search of the missing black book,” according to Audible.

“I’m thrilled to collaborate with Audible on an extraordinary slate of original projects,” Patterson said in a statement. “I’m particularly looking forward to building stories specifically for the listening experience — the spin of a tire wheel, the gravel in a villain’s voice, the note of triumph in a detective’s final words as he closes a case — all performed by gifted, top-tier talent.”

Audible has entered into similar multi-project deals with other talent and companies, including Colin Kaepernick, Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, Gunpowder & Sky, and the Williamstown Theater Festival. It’s the first Audible deal with Patterson for original series, according to Najen Naylor, senior director of Audible Originals.

“We’ve seen great success with his other work available on our service and we’re confident Audible listeners will love having brand new scripted full-cast content from Patterson, created specifically with the audio medium in mind,” she said.

For all Audible and Patterson collaborations, Naylor will serve as executive in charge and Bill Robinson, principal at James Patterson Entertainment, will serve as executive producer.

Audible Originals are included as part of the Audible membership, which costs $14.95 per month.