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Luther: The Calling (Luther #1)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  2,504 Ratings  ·  417 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, 368 pages
Published March 15th 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Tim
Feb 01, 2017 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Numerous questionable tactics in this story, leading to a dubious end. 4 of 10 stars
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
Lisa
I'm a bit behind the times watching the TV series 'Luther' as only watched it in the last couple of weeks...and I bloody loved it. We binge-watched the majority over a weekend and it blew me away. Idris Elba...superb. Hard-hitting, gritty and set in London - right up my street.

So then I read that Neil Cross who created Luther and wrote the screenplay wrote this book after the tv series (unusual). In the acknowledgements for this book he thanked the actors who were in the series for bringing his
...more
L.M. Krier
Oct 02, 2016 L.M. Krier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of the Luther TV series, which made its début on British television in 2010. This book, first published in 2011, forms the lead-in (prequel, if you will) to the series and supplies something of a background to the characters.

Author Neil Cross is a well-known screenwriter who wrote some of the equally brilliant Spooks series. The Calling is written in the present tense, very much in screenplay style, which makes it highly visual. It is not for the faint-hearted. There are some gru
...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
Oct 05, 2012 Tom Wruble rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Pat
Oct 19, 2012 Pat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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.
Rory Tiernan
Feb 08, 2016 Rory Tiernan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic read whether a fan or not of the tv series. I have rarely felt such contempt and or disgust for characters and their actions as told in this book, nor have I ever winced at story being told. READ THIS!
Charlene Intriago
Somewhat of a prequel for the TV show, action packed and totally entertaining especially if you are a fan of the show.
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
Benoit Lelièvre
May 25, 2014 Benoit Lelièvre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gerald
Mar 24, 2012 Gerald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: london
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
Ross Cumming
Feb 11, 2016 Ross Cumming rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of the 'Luther' television series starring Idris Elba and had no idea there was a Luther novel until I saw it in the Amazon Kindle Daily Deals last week. It is written by the writer of the TV series Neal Cross and according to his acknowledgements, it was written after he had written the initial tv series and therefore the characters were already fully formed.
The novel is a 'prequel' to the first tv series and all the familiar characters are in the novel including Ian Reed, Benn
...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
Sandie
Oct 01, 2013 Sandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul Pessolano
Oct 23, 2012 Paul Pessolano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
Barbara
Sep 16, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Barbara
Sep 03, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thomas Edmund
Sep 22, 2012 Thomas Edmund rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer
Jan 16, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
In full disclosure, I haven't watch the TV series "Luther" yet, although it's been on my to-watch list for quite a while. I just went ahead and read this, since I heard that it was a prequel to the TV series, and I was in the mood for it :)

I enjoyed this quite a bit, although I think that I would've enjoyed it more, had I seen some TV episodes and was more sensitive to the characters, especially Luther. This isn't a light-hearted crime novel, and there is a lot of ugliness portrayed, not only of
...more
David Graham
Sep 15, 2014 David Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across Luther on one of the On-Demand download channels having missed it's original broadcast. I quickly became hooked on it, on paper the tortured cop could come across as a cliche but the writing and performances ensured that didn't happen. It was really satisfying then to find this prequel to the series. The book builds wonderfully to the opening scene of season one episode one. There are some truly unsettling descriptions of horrible crimes by a horrible criminal. You are really i ...more
Robert Intriago
Feb 16, 2016 Robert Intriago rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-noir, 2016
Packed with action this crime noir is a riveting page turner. I like it quite a bit and as a result I plan to stream the series. This is a dark police procedural in which the police are slightly better than the crooks. The crimes committed are so bad that you tend to side with the police and the methods used to put the animals into a grave or in deep solitary confinement. Not the greatest English prose but then that is not why you read this type of books. The narrative is fast paced, vulgar, vio ...more
Lou Robinson
Dec 16, 2011 Lou Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Monica
Jan 04, 2016 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Als fan van deze fantastische tv-serie moest ik dit boek natuurlijk wel lezen. Het verhaal speelt zich af vóór de afleveringen van de tv-serie. Een prequel dus.
Vanaf de allereerste blz. zat ik in het verhaal. De bekende eigenschappen van Luther worden feilloos neergezet. In het begin moest ik even wennen aan de schrijfstijl, alsof je een script leest. Maar na 5 hoofdstukken was dit gevoel over en kon ik het boek niet meer wegleggen.

Christine
Sep 23, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Cole
May 14, 2012 Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Luther (2 books)
  • The Burning (Luther, #2)

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“What's the golden rule of social networking?"
Luther hangs up his coat. "Don't do it?”
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“Jamie Smart has gone home and Adrian sits on the curb at the edge of the field, the bike propped against a lamppost. He can see the back garden. He’s drinking a can of Fanta. He’s feeling pretty good. He’s six years old. A van pulls up. The worried-looking driver gets out and jogs across the quiet road. He said, “Mate—what’s your name?” 0 likes
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