"Luther: The Calling" by Neil Cross

Luther: The Calling - Neil Cross

“Closure may never come. And if it does come, it may not be what you were hoping for.”


Zoe, when referring to Luther: “So I tell him this, all about myself.  Then I ask him about himself, and he tells me about books.  As if he's made up of all these books he's read, or was going to read.”


My first Neil Cross, and it won’t be my last.


I’m not familiar with the TV Series. This book, I’m told, works as prequel to the series. I’m going to rectify soon the fact that I’ve never seen it.


I was not prepared for it. There was a lot of gore, including the deaths of animals and children. The book is ghastly, gory and not for the faint of heart. Would I still recommend it? Without a shadow of a doubt. It’s a solid Crime Fiction (Horror?) novel that manages to be a great addition to the genre with no pretensions or designs to be anything other than being a piece of wonderful Crime Writing.


Literary styled books aren’t usually my thing. They normally take all the good stuff out of the book and replace it with tedious narrative passing off as deep and meaningful prose.


“Literary” books (aka “mainstream” literature) are usually weighed down with this needless stuff. While reading “Luther: The Calling” I had the feeling that I was reading something not quite-genre-oriented, despite all the Crime Fiction trappings used. At its core there wasn’t really anything new but all the elements were presented in such a fluent and elegant and minimalist prose that I couldn’t help but go along, and not caring whether the plot was predictable (which in a way it was).


Luther and Zoe’s relationship and interaction was what kept me glued to the pages. It all felt so damn real… Without getting into personal territory, I felt for Luther. And the way it was written, I could see how Luther had become who he was. I became engrossed, watching John Luther’s life fall apart. It was like watching a train wreck.


The personal story between Zoe and Luther was just so real that I couldn’t help but empathetically self-reflect.


This is probably the best Crime Fiction novel I’ll read this year.