Look, I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t really like audiobooks – I do try occasionally, but I never seem to get on with them, somehow. Maybe I’m simply more of a visual person, but they always make me itch to have the actual book in front of me instead of some unknown narrator talking at me. And I have a very clear idea in my head of what my characters should sound like, so I don’t mind admitting I approached the audio version of What Lies Buried with some trepidation.
But I have to say David Rintoul has done an excellent job. My DI, Lukas Mahler, sounds pretty much exactly as I envisaged him, and there’s a fluidity to Rintoul’s narration that carries the story along beautifully.
Okay, I could wish for a little more of Fergie’s died-in-the-wool Invernessian to come through, and when I hear Anna and June Wallace in my head, they’re even stronger and (to use the dreaded word) feistier than Rintoul plays them. But these are minor quibbles. With male and female characters ranging from 10 to 83 years old, this has to have been a challenging book to narrate, and it’s a huge tribute to his skill that Rintoul pulls this off with such panache and believability.
But where he really excels for me is in his portrayal of a couple of the worst characters I’ve created to date. My goodness, the menace he injects into their lines is quite something. One scene in particular genuinely gave me chills … and I wrote it!
Chapeau, Mr Rintoul. Chapeau.