The Calling is the first novel featuring DCI John Luther. Yes, the same Luther you saw on telly as I did, played by Idris Elba. There are so many DC’s and DCI’s the modern British Crime Fiction has produced, so why bother about this one? As usually, he is tortured and that is interesting. Aren’t all?
DCI John Luther has a clearance rate of cases which is extraordinary as it is portrayed by Neil Cross in the telly series too, in the first few episodes. If you have watched the series or/are planning to, you can still read the book. The consequences of this book are what followed by the television series. It’s a prequel.
The plot is simple, John Luther is hunting for a brutal murderer and baby kidnapper who intends to do what he has done again. Now, the most extraordinary thing is there in this simplicity and the credit goes to the author of the book, Neil Cross. The opening scene is do dramatised and there a few more to grab, I feel as if it was a real crime scene in front of me. Every detail is spectacularly written, and very rare in crime fiction novels do you find such generous reception.
Thus, the book starts with a bang. And as plot moves forward, John Luther’s demon’s increases. His unstable relationship with his wife is on a brink of something, and to maintain his status quo he has to find the culprit. The book has its intense parts but become more of a drag as I went further it. The visualisation of the author is no doubt amazing, but other areas lacked something and in the end did not reach a mediocre point.
The end product is satisfactory and are the starting points of the tv series, if you are interested in, don’t give too much thought on when to read the book. It’s a thriller and meant to be read in that sense, but lacks the real thrill that few of the British Crime Fiction novels have achieved already. But I intend to give credit to Neil Cross for his modernised writing style, which is not yet mainstream, for creating a tortured creature and for his dramatics on the crime scenes.
2 out of 5!