Saturday, October 13, 2012

Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross

When books and television cross paths, I’m always amazed at how for some the characters and storyline remain very similar, while others are almost unrecognizable. 

I understand there are times that some changes have to be made and9781451673098 that for action to play out on the screen, it must be done differently. It’s when characters are completely different (physically and emotionally), or they are left out or the setting is different that I have problems with it. It’s as if the concept is the only remaining factor from the book used in the show.

There is one show, however, where the author used the characteristics of the actor playing his lead character when he decided to write a prequel to the show. I must admit having not watched any of the show, I’m unfamiliar with the character. However, with this spotlight on the new novel I’m intrigued to watch now.

For crime drama fans of the acclaimed BBC America series LUTHER, there is now a brilliant standalone novel and prequel to the show. Written by the show’s creator and sole writer Neil Cross, LUTHER: THE CALLING is a dark and gritty thriller.

With this novel, readers who are meeting Detective Chief Inspector John Luther for the first time will be shocked and enthralled. For fans of the award-winning show, Cross lets them see how it all began with the case that pushed Luther over the edge.

Here’s a brief description of LUTHER: He’s a murder detective with an extraordinary case-clearance rate. He’s obsessive, instinctive, and intense. Nobody who ever stood at his side has a bad word to say about him. And yet there are rumors that Luther is bad—not corrupt, not on the take, but tormented. After years of chasing the most depraved criminals in London’s gritty underworld, he 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 any other detective wouldn’t and shouldn’t do.

LUTHER: 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 serial killer case that tore his personal and professional relationships apart and propelled him over the precipice—beyond fury, beyond vengeance, all the way to the other side of the law. Is Luther a force for good or a man hell-bent on self-destruction? 

Cross has a way of pulling readers in with the first paragraph and transfixing them as his compelling protagonist Luther gets under their skin. He’s a likeable character, well-developed with strength and determination, but vulnerable.

In LUTHER: THE CALLING, a husband and wife have been brutally murdered in their home. The scene is horrible in itself, but to make matters worse, the wife was 8 ½ months pregnant at the time of her death. The killer took the unborn child. Now Luther is on a mission to find the baby and stop the killer no matter the cost.

The story moves at a steady pace with adrenaline-driven segments. There are twists and turns that will have you holding your breath. While Luther is a law enforcement officer, he may not always follow the law to the letter. A part of you can’t help but cheer when he steps over that fine line.

This is an action-packed thriller you won’t be able to put down.

Award-winning writer Neil Cross’ website is

Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross, Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, @2012, ISBN: 9781451673098, Hardcover, 336 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Well, now I want to read the book AND find the TV show.

  2. Sounds like a great thriller. But a bit violent for a nice autumn day. More of a winter book?

  3. Mason - It is interesting isn't it how different a television and print version of the same story can be. I'm glad to hear that this adaptation of the television show translated well into print. It certainly sounds like a fast-paced thriller.


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