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Luther: The Calling Hardcover – September 4, 2012

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Luther: The Calling + Luther + Luther Season Three
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451673094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451673098
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Recommend this for the amazing force and power of the writing and the hell-for-leather plotting that together pull readers along whether they like it or not. They may not, at least if they don’t have the stomach for graphic violence. London police detective John Luther has the marks of the modern detective hero: he’s tormented by the suffering in the world and eager to pound the bloody daylights out of anyone who helps cause it. His off-duty life is a mess, mainly because his wife is cuckolding him. Meanwhile, back at the office, he and his colleagues are after a sicko who so wants a baby that he murders a young couple and tears the child out of the dead mother’s womb. As the hunt leads them through this slime pit, we witness still more unspeakable scenes. An old man is beaten by toughs. A little dog is killed when its spine is snapped. We’re complicit, then, when Luther visits punishment on these creeps. This may cross the line for some readers. Others will be cheering Luther on. --Don Crinklaw


'Cross delivers a brooding piece of back-story for fans of the character inhabited by Idris Elba on screen. However, if you're not already a DCI Luther convert, it also serves as a good jumping off point into his tortured world' Shortlist, top 20 crime novels of the year 'Gripping... eviscerating' Observer 'Written with style, pace and dark humour' Sport magazine 'Neil Cross, the creator of the series, is a seasoned novelist and it shows -- the writing is economical, taut and evocative. This is, quite literally, bloody brilliant' Metro 'Written with style, pace and dark humour...hugely fun' Sport magazine 'Unsettling, lyrical... Cross has always dealt in darkness and been so adept at conjuring bogeymen from the catacombs of mythology that you start to see them everywhere' Guardian 'This story shares the editing technique and visual power of the screen version. But, more than anything, it's an astounding book in its own right. Unapologetic, brutal and stunning - in the very real sense of that word... If you weren't faint-hearted when you started reading, you'll feel it by the end. Whole passages are carried on an adrenaline wave that leaves the reader shaking and in fear of what comes next. If you don't suffer nightmares after finishing this book, you're a stronger reader than me... No doubt about it, Cross is an amazing writer, capable of lyricism and pathos as well as some of the most traumatising scenes you're ever likely to experience in a mainstream crime novel' Eurocrime 'This is no mere TV tie-in; this is a fully functioning standalone, and an excellent book in its own right. The drama is often shocking, always visceral. Cross creates a plot which allows us to see the nascence of a beloved character, showcasing his swaggering brilliance as well as his anguish. Luther: The Calling is strongly recommended even to anyone unfamiliar with the series, but to fans, this is an absolute must' Book Geeks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Highly recommend for fans of the TV series.
Richard Manikas
I watch Luther, the tv show on BBC America and was so happy to see a book based on the series.
Andrea A.
Great character, well written, completely human and very believable.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Craig Sisterson on November 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Storytelling on screen is very different to storytelling via the pages of a book, even when those involved are dealing with the same characters and plots. There are far too many examples of good and great books turned into mediocre movies or TV shows; although, to be fair, there have also been some terrific book-to-screen adaptations over the years too, bringing well-loved characters to a new audience.

But while there are plenty of examples of crime novels that have been adapted, loosely or authentically, for the big and small screen, the reverse is far less common: a crime drama on the big or small screen becoming a book series. As a general rule, TV tie-in books can be pretty mediocre, but a recent release bucks that trend magnificently. Perhaps because Neil Cross, the creator and writer of the award-winning TV series Luther, is in fact himself an acclaimed crime novelist, and has been the one to bring his onscreen characters to the page, in all their volatile and vivid glory.

Cross takes us back before the beginning with Luther: The Calling, a prequel novel that explores the events leading to DCI John Luther (played wonderfully by Idris Elba in the TV series) being on long-term leave, having lost so much professionally and personally, at the beginning of season one. Just like on screen, the hulking London copper is a riveting protagonist; a simmering volcano of a man, stumbling a tightrope between intelligence and insight and insanity. Faced with a horrific crime while juggling personal drama at work and home, he begins to devolve, crossing various lines in order to chase down a terrible predator and protect the vulnerable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Evie Getchell TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Luther: The Calling is so much more than a great prequel to a really great BBC crime is a really great novel! And it is also a really, really great introduction to a really, really great character, both literary and televisual - to John Luther, "a big man with a big walk."

You might think I've overused the word "great" in that paragraph, but until you've viewed the BBC production Luther or read this novel, please hold your judgment. You'll certainly understand my repetitive superlatives after you've met Detective Chief Inspector John Luther yourself, here, in this lacerating psychological thriller and police procedural, Luther: The Calling.

The writing of author Neil Cross takes on an elemental forcefulness in LUTHER that translates superbly into a potent cinematographic narrative. Cross has a deceptively simple style that works with an efficient, prosaic economy that only reinforces the complexity and suspense of this penetrating story.

The narrative in LUTHER has a razor sharp edge and tight, terse plotting that not only explores with graphic intensity crime and the limits of the law but how far a brilliant but obsessional crime detective is willing to push those limits... and how far he is willing to push himself beyond those limits.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Neil Cross is a screenwriter who created the TV series Luther. This novel is a prequel to that series, which I have never seen, but it also works as a standalone crime novel.

DCI John Luther, "a big man with a big walk", is a damaged cop whose marriage is falling apart. The story involves two cases. In the first, a property developer is putting heavy pressure on an aged tenant to move out of his home and when the book opens his heavies have just beaten up Luther's colleague, who has been trying to protect the old man. The second and major plotline involves the murder of a young couple and the theft of their unborn baby. In both instances, Luther becomes heavily and very personally involved.

Neil Cross has a taut style of writing. He doesn't spend a lot of time on back stories or lengthy descriptions. It's tight and relentless and bang! - it draws you in immediately. After only a few pages, I felt like I had been reading the book for some time. The storyline in this book is more complex that his books usually are. He's juggling a large cast of characters. It feels reminiscent of Simon Kernick's early books, about flawed cop Dennis Milne. The pace is fast and the action continues right up until the final page. My main critique is that there's not a lot of suspense (compared to his other books), and the suspense that there is tends to be about what's going on in Luther's head rather than how the plot will resolve itself.

Be aware that it's fairly violent and some of the sexual descriptions are pretty graphic.
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