Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

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 scriptwriter, there's nothing filmic or screen treatment about the books.  These are fully fleshed out stories, with strong characters, really good plots and whilst there's nothing staid about the books, there's nothing obviously "treatment" about them either.  This factor is a particular relief for this reader who has ploughed through way too many film scripts loosely disguised as novels over the years to be at all comfortable.  

What is particularly worthwhile about this book is the character of DCI John Luther, a moody, difficult, man with a volatile personality and absolute tunnel vision when it comes to getting the bad guy.  Rules are broken, lines aren't just crossed - they are obliterated and bridges go up in smoke as Luther strides through the world that Cross builds in LUTHER.  Despite the moodiness, despite the intensity of this character, Cross is also able to pull off a fantastic storytelling style.  Crisp, pointed yet descriptive, Luther and the world he occupies come vividly to life.

So in a poor attempt to take a leaf from the author's own book:  LUTHER's a fantastic character.  LUTHER THE CALLING is brutal, in your face, fabulous.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Meet Detective Chief Inspector John Luther.

He's a murder detective.

A near-genius.

He's brilliant; he's intense; he's instinctive.

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. And yet there are rumours that DCI Luther is bad - not corrupt, not on the take, but tormented. Luther seethes with a hidden fury that at times he can barely control. Sometimes it sends him to the brink of madness, making him do things he shouldn't; things way beyond the limits of the law.

The Calling, the first in a new series of novels featuring DCI John Luther, takes us into Luther's past and into his mind. It is the story of the case that tore his personal and professional relationships apart and propelled him over the precipice. Beyond fury, beyond vengeance. All the way to murder…

Review LUTHER THE CALLING - Neil Cross
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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