1. Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross: A Review by Shona Sterland

    IN BRIEF:
    GOOD:
    • Brilliant plot-line
    • Characters are described in great detail
    • I finished this book in one day
    • Just amazing
    BAD:
    • I feel like you need to have watched the Luther series to get a feel for the characters involved
    Neil Cross has wrote many novels, but Luther is by far my favourite one. 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.
    John loves his wife, frequently despises his job, but compromises his marriage for the dedication and long hours that keep him away from home, physically and emotionally. He’s hypomanic, which is, euphemistically, bipolar-lite. His mood is elevated and sleep is elusive. He doesn’t drink. Now, there’s an original and refreshing trait. Too many crime novels portray the alcoholic genius detective. Luther is a genius, but a sober one. Cross delivers characters which are intriguing and diverse, and pull you into the book from the start.
     
    Graphic violence is central to the plot, so beware the beast. However, it is not gratuitous. Cross is brilliant at combining Tarantino and Rumi. Luther is the thinking man’s combatant, a scholar/warrior, a David Bowie enthusiast and moral strategist, with a hint of the mystical. Instead of a patched-elbow tweedy elite, which he could have been, he is fighting crime. Luther is a conundrum. On the one hand, he is deeply virtuous and applies his principles or morality to outwitting the criminal. On the other hand, his tempestuous means to an end approach often violates departmental ethics, creating considerable problems for himself, his colleagues, and his superiors.

    With a poetic economy of words, Cross keeps a sublime vise grip on the reader. Oh, those pages will fly and burn your fingers in the process. The pace is crucial to the mood and plot, and Cross maintains a fierce but restrained tempo, as incomparable as the series. You will be installed in the story by the first page; it is so exquisitely brazen, you will screech and howl before it is over. The next book in the series can’t come soon enough for me! 
    A small warning:  Luther: The Calling is not a novel for the squeamish, or for those who do not wish to read about crimes involving children. But for those who do enjoy spelunking into the dark side of human nature, and of course fans of the television series, it’s a deeply engaging read.
     
    TDT Review: 10/10
     
    Definitely read!!!!!
     
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      YAY! I need a little more Luther in my life since the show is over (or is it… Idris, you tease us).
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