Luther: The Calling
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Luther: The Calling (Luther #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,284 ratings  ·  267 reviews
Meet DCI John Luther.
He's brilliant. He's intense. He's obsessional.
HE'S DANGEROUS.
DCI John Luther has an extraordinary clearance rate. He commands outstanding loyalty from friends and colleagues. Nobody who ever stood at his side has a bad word to say about him. But Luther seethes with a hidden fury that at times he can barely control. Sometimes it sends him to the brink...more
Paperback, 362 pages
Published 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,847)
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Jesse
So you should know from the start that I'm a huge fan of the "Luther" BBC series this is a prequel too. So when I saw this book on a shelf I nearly jumped for joy. I was a little hesitant when I discovered it was a prequel, but that was a different me...a stupider me. Neil Cross has now joined the very small list of Detective/Crime fiction gods (as chosen by yours truly) that prior to reading this book was Walter Mosley and Joe R. Lansdale. Now they are a Trinity, dark and grand in their savage...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Neil Cross, sole writer of the BBC TV series, Luther, wrote this psychological crime drama prequel, subsequent to writing the TV show. I have never read a book based on a screenplay that was any good, until now. Not just good, but unputdownable. Was it as riveting as the series? Absolutely. I wasn’t distracted by segueing from film to print, or going back in time, or the sizzling reminders of Idris Elba, who consummately personifies DCI John Luther.

“Luther is a big man with a big walk,” is Cross...more
James
John Luther, as Idris Elba, star of his own TV serial, Luther, gets his prequel in the form of this novel – Luther: The Calling – written by the same author, Neil Cross. Coming out in 2011, around the same time as the second Luther serial, this novel describes the case immediately prior to the TV serial. In fact, it runs up almost completely to the start of the first episode – covering everything that leads up to the suspension that Luther returns from. This is a dark introduction, not for the...more
Tom Wruble
It got to the point yesterday where I couldn't put it down.

I found Bill Turner, an 85 year old character especially likeable, honorable and adaptable. Just because things were a certain way when he was young doesn't mean that it was right. Here's the passage that I found the goodness of man in:

Bill bets a few quid, watches a few races, doesn't make a penny
but enjoys himself anyway.
Then he goes out. Poor little Paddy's tied to a lamp post. His
little legs are shaking with cold and the terror of...more
Michael
"Luther: The Calling" is the first book in a series that stars no nonsense Deputy Inspector John Luther.

The story opens when one of Luther's friends on the police department gets roughed up by two thugs hired by a man who is trying to get a senior citizen to sell his home so the criminal can develop the land.

The central part of the story involves a serial killer who murders a young husband and wife and steals their infant.

Luther is a workaholic who puts himslf so much into the investigation that...more
Isa Lavinia
I don't know how many of you watch (*sniff* ...watched) Luther, but if you haven't watched it yet, you are really missing out.

Let me be honest, one of the best things about Luther, for me, is Alice.




She's so unrepentantly insane! She's done horrible things, things I wouldn't forgive any other character, things I do NOT forgive her! ...And yet I can't help but... like her? Yes, let's go with "like" and not explore how sexy murderous ladies leave me confused.


I killed my parents for the lols.

But the...more
Benoit Lelievre
If you're a John Luther fan like I am, you need to know this - LUTHER : THE CALLING lives up to its tremendous lead character's legacy. It's a bona fide chapter of Luther's adventure and not a cash-in byproduct, altough it is Alice Morgan-less. From the first sentence, the authority of Neil Cross' narrative voice is palpable. You can almost hear Idris Elba's voice and see his tortured scowl. THE CALLING is structured like a LUTHER season, it mixes up cases and bad guys in its own unique, frantic...more
Pat
Fantastic book! The story moves along quickly and I did not want to stop reading it. I have not seen the series, Luther, but that did not seem to matter in reading this book. Easy to learn and follow the characters. A gripping story right up to the end. Highly recommend but not for the squeamish.
Allison Tynan
An absolute page turner, a really thrilling book. The reason I've given it three stars was the subject matter was a bit dark for me. Don't get me wrong I can "do dark" but this just went a bit too far for me to really appreciate it.
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pessolano
“Luther The Calling” by Neil Cross, published by Touchstone Books.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

Detective Chief Inspector, (this is an English mystery); John Luther is a brilliant detective but has some serious problems. He not only has personal problems at home but is somewhat of a maverick at work. He is known for not following the rules and has questionable interrogation techniques. He is a driven man who once he is on a case cannot let it go, in fact, he becomes so involved he gives up home and...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you probably already know that mysteries just aren't really my thing. They can be good, but they're all so similar in their plot arc, and I just don't feel compelled to read many. As such, I usually reject review requests for mysteries. However, I made an exception for this one, because it's based on a BBC series, one I haven't seen actually, but still! The allure of British programming is irresistable to me!

The C...more
Karen Brooks

I have never read a Neil Cross book before, but I have seen the brilliant television series, Luther, written by Cross and played by Idris Elba. It was fitting then that I read this book first as it’s the prequel to the TV series and was written with Idris’ characterisation of Luther firmly in Cross’ mind.

This story tells of the events that lead up to Luther’s suspension, break down and the dissolution of his relationship with his wife. Related in sparse, powerful prose, we watch Luther unravel...more
Gerald
Definitely not the sort of thing I normally read. A dark, dark, dark story (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was like a disney comic compared to this) and I don't normally like that.

But this is Luther. Reading this is just as good as watching an entire 6 part series of Luther. And seeing as there isn't one out for a while, this'll do just fine.

Despite the darkness, Neil Cross has somehow created an incredible set of characters. Setting this book before the first series was a good idea, because there...more
Craig Sisterson
There are many examples of crime novels that have been adapted, whether loosely or authentically, for the big and small screen, but the reverse is far less common. TV tie-ins can be pretty mediocre (being kind), but a recent release bucks that trend magnificently, perhaps because the creator of award-winning British TV series Luther is in fact himself an acclaimed novelist, and has been the one to bring his onscreen characters to the page.

Neil Cross takes us back before the beginning with Luther...more
Karen
Upside, Neil Cross has written some fantastic recent books. Downside, LUTHER THE CALLING has a connection with a TV series which I've never seen. So interesting to see if a fabulous author has written a fabulous book, regardless of whatever's been going on over on the small screen. Especially as, I believe, this has been a reverse adaptation with the TV series coming before the book.

The most important thing about any of this author's books is that, particularly as he has such a name as a scriptw...more
Barbara
LUTHER : The Calling
Neil Cross
No one does police procedurals or murder mysteries like the BBC and turning the series into a book, instead of the other way around, introduces a whole other audience to this haunting character.
Luther is a police detective, battling his own private devils which are only hinted at to the reader. His lovely wife is tired of his lack of communication and withdrawal from every one and every thing except the case he is involved with at the moment.
In the beginning pages...more
Misha
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway.

When viewers of the British crime drama Luther first meet DCI John Luther, he’s literally on a precipice wrestling with a questionable decision. This novel tells the story of how Luther came to that moment, how his personal ethics became more and more grey as his life crumbled and a difficult murder-kidnapping case took its toll. As a reader, I was left wondering, “If I had seen the things Luther has seen, would I have done...more
Cole
If you haven't already figured it out, this book is a prequel to the television series Luther which is named for its protagonist DCI John Luther. I strongly believe you need to have seen the tv show before reading this book (as I did). Most of the plot probably holds up fine on its own without having seen the tv show, but I believe the magnitude and weight of what happens in this book is thrown off if you haven't. And that stuff matters, but beyond that it is a really good tv show (think procedu...more
Michael
DCI John Luther is a man on the edge. Highly regarded by friends and colleages Luther demands respect. But he also some one who is intense, obsessive and at times downright dangerous. When a couple is murdered and a still alive child is taken Luther and the Serious Crimes Unit are put on the job. We see early on the lengths Luther will go to get results wich go well beyond going by the book.

While trying to catch the killer and find the child who is barely alive John helps out a war hero who is b...more
Nitya Sivasubramanian
Remember that horrifying scene in the first episode of Luther where he's looking down at a man hanging by his fingers? Well if like me you were just gagging to know what his story was, The Calilng is your answer. However, if, like me, you spent most of the show wondering about why and how the characters became who they are, you will be sadly disappointed. By the time this book opens, the main characters are already well on their way to becoming the people you would recognize from the show. S...more
Sandie
Luther is the kind of detective you definitely want on your side if a crime has been committed. He is brilliant, intense, totally dedicated and he won't give up until the criminal has been brought to justice. These same qualities make the people around him nervous. His wife, Zoe, worries about his health and stress levels and the marriage isn't good these days. His commander worries about what Luther will do to bring justice and which day he steps over the line might be his last.

London needs L...more
T. Edmund
Luther the Calling brings the brutal character Luther into novel format with a prequel to the TV series. Written by Neil Cross the original creator of the series, this book stays very true the characters and compliments the series well.

In the same breath, a completely new fan without seeing the Luther series prior to reading this will still enjoy this novel. The prose is tight as, the world the characters in harsh and dark. The mystery, the relationships, and Luther's mental health are all as a...more
Barbara
My interest in this book started with the Luther television series which is excellent and stars Idris Elba. When I heard that the screenwriter of this series is also a novelist and had written a novel based on the character that served as a sort of a prequel to the beginning of the series, I was interested. However, I was a little skeptical as to what the quality might be. My fears were unfounded. Neil Cross, the author, is an excellent writer in both forms. The book centers around Luther's hunt...more
Lou Robinson
I LOVED it. But then, not overly surprised because I loved the TV series too. I liked the writing style, and think that had much to do with it being written by Neil Cross who wrote the original Luther screenplays. It was no-nonsense, straightforward, short snappy sentences. Not paragraphs of wordy description, just 360 pages of good fast paced story from start to finish. A tad gruesome in places, I wonder if that made it better for print than the small screen.

I certainly hope there is more to co...more
Deanne
Read in one sitting, brilliant and so reminds me of the Luther in the series.
Any Length
Apr 14, 2014 Any Length marked it as discarded  ·  review of another edition
No stars as I discarded this book.
The characters were unappealing, the book was awkwardly written. And I got very annoyed when the author didn't seem to know the first thing about AA or cleaning work.
When the detective talks to the lady from the infertile couples support groups she says words to the effect: "We are not like AA. We do not push people into admitting anything."
Well, I have news for the author. Neither AA nor any other 12 step fellowship ever "pushes people" into admitting or talkin...more
Mahek
A lead character who is ever so brooding, always angling on the edge of darkness. Surrounded by a city where despair and evil is always palpable in the air. Every chapter makes your conscience heavier and heavier--and in that sense, you can never stop empathizing with the titular character Luther's psyche. So, yes, this book is well-worthy of your precious time--and so is the brilliant TV series.
Christine
I loved the tv series, so was stunned when I found this book on sale! It is a prequel, so it covers the events before the series starts. We see Luther and his wife together and a baby, then a young girl abducted. Luther to the rescue with his clever insights and his absolute determination to solve the crime. I absolutely loved it. I can't wait for the next one in the series to come out.
Nicholas
Disclaimer: I'm a huge fan of the Luther television series and while I usually don't go in for these sorts of adaptations, Neil Cross, the author of this prequel to the television series, was the writer for all three seasons of the BBC drama. That type of consistency led me to believe that the book would be good - at least on the plotting level - and that the author would get the characters just right because, well, they're his characters.

John Luther is one part Sherlock Holmes and one part Dir...more
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Neil was born in Bristol in 1969. He lived in Edinburgh, Brighton, Leeds and London before settling down. He is the author of several novels including Always the Sun, Burial and Captured as well as the bestselling memoir Heartland. He was lead scriptwriter for the acclaimed series 6 and series 7 of the BBC spy drama series Spooks and is the creator of the forthcoming BBC crime thriller Luther, whi...more
More about Neil Cross...
Always the Sun Burial Captured Natural History Holloway Falls

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