Thoughts on the audio version:
As many people have noted, Kobna Holbrook Smith is a fabulous reader. Turns out he is an actor and director is well, with a long list of tv credits; it’s kind of a bummer because I hope he continues to have time for the Peter Grant series.
Holbrook Smith is clearly a talented voice actor who can understandably convey a range of London accents, from that of an 19th century itenerant to Nightingale’s ‘posh’ early 20th century to current police vernacular. I also found his Danish and Jamaican accents amusing. Ever since an unfortunate experience with the Stephanie Plum audio, I’m particularly impressed when actors are able to voice characters of the opposite sex without making it sound fake. Holbrook Smith is able to give Leslie a decent voicing, but it really shines when he does Leslie imitating Punch. I did feel like quite a few bit characters ended up with a Jamaican-sounding accent, which may or may not reflect London demographics.
Interestingly, I noted that I didn’t find the audio version quite as funny as I found the paper version. As an American, I wonder if this is an example of the ‘dry’ British humor, that the pause or infliction I expect is missing. I certainly found phrases snicker-out-loud funny when my inside voice read it. That said, his reading of the following dialogue made me laugh out loud:
“You don’t think she and Nightingale…?” asked Lesley.
“Ew,” said Beverley. “That’s just wrong.”
“I thought you and her were friends?” I asked.
“Yeah, but she’s like a creature of the night,” said Beverley. “And he’s old.”
I will note that there were two moments in later chapters when it sounded as if the recording was taken up weeks or months later. It was still the same reader, but something about the tone of the recording and the closeness of the voice changed. I did love the jazz introduction between chapters.
Overall, a great audio. I’ll definitely continue revisiting the series through audio.
Paper book review of Midnight Riot.