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Luther: The Calling Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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
“For all his skill as scriptwriter, Cross is above all else a gifted novelist. Luther: The Calling is more than a tie-in novel. It is some of the best crime fiction to hit bookstores this year.” (The Hollywood Reporter)
“The amazing force and power of the writing and the hell-for-leather plotting together pull readers along whether they like it or not.” (Booklist) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
London is in uproar, someone has stolen a baby from the womb. Ace detective John Luther and his team of crack investigators try to follow the trail of a dangerous thief. But, when the baby turns up dead and the killer known as John Black pins it on the police, Luther takes it personally. And when ‘John Black’ escalates, killing a family and their au pair (but kidnapping their youngest daughter—leaving his son at the crime scene for dead), Luther has to use his own brand of justice to get the job done. He has two hours to track down the killer and find the buried girl before her air supply exhausts. Can Luther employ his creative techniques to do it, or will the death of another innocent be on his hands?
I was hooked on this story as soon as I found out it was available on Amazon (and other digital devices) for $1.99. I started reading it and savored it, reading it in three sessions. Neil Cross does an amazing job with this, stating that Luther was a screenplay before a book. And it ends with the very thing that Luther flashbacks to in the beginning of season one.
The story is riveting and a bit heart-pounding. There were times when I wanted to check and see if this actually happened in London. There is some violence to animals that I found to be excessive and terrible, but otherwise, I think fans of the BBC show, as well as fans of American crime tv, will find this exciting and worth the read.
I loved the way the character was developed throughout the story, and I love that this was a prequel to the series—I just hope there is some more.
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P.S. The book reminded me a lot of those by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), in its intensity and creep factor.
Cross readily admits to writing backwards and basing a lot of the characters around the way they were portrayed by the actors on the show. The tone is smart, incredibly dark and thrilling, but that's what Luther has been about from the start. Are there parts that will make you cringe? Yes. Because that's the show. For the people who complained about the gruesome acts - that's the freaking show! Fans will know what they're getting into and will love it.
What's brilliant about the book is that even though you know how it will end - it leads up to the first episode of the TV show - it's still so incredibly written that it keeps you in suspense throughout. And there's an added bonus because Cross drops in a few Easter eggs for fans that foreshadow things that we know will be coming down the line.
It's a great read, but you already knew I'd say that...
The characters are fascinating and well developed. The plot is highly intriguing. If you enjoy thought provoking, psychologically rich, and extremely suspenseful stories this will thoroughly have you unable to put the book down. Just as I did not want the series to end, I did not want the novel to end as well!