A brilliant standalone crime novel and prequel to the acclaimed BBC series by the show’s creator and sole writer....
Meet Detective Chief Inspector John 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. 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 he shouldn’t - things well beyond the limits of the law.
Edgar Award-winning writer Neil Cross has created one of the most compelling characters in modern crime fiction - a man who may be a force for good, or hell-bent on self-destruction. For fans of the award-winning series starring Emmy-nominee Idris Elba, and for all lovers of crime fiction, Luther is hailed by The Guardian as “Britain’s own Stephen King.”
©2011 Neil Cross (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
“Luther is to crime fiction what his historical counterpart was to religion.…Gripping, taut fiction by a new master in the genre” (Guillermo del Toro)
The tone and atmosphere of the book is a perfect match for dark, unpleasant subject. You live inside the tragic, claustrophobic mind of Luther during his chapters, creating an unbearable tension similar to what Luther himself must feel.
It is similar to the Millennium series by Stieg Larsen. Both are crime series and both feature bleak worlds, both feature smart and iconoclastic protagonists.
There is little to laugh about in this book. There is a lot to cry about if a person is given to it.
This book is based on the British show of the same title, written by the man who created the drama originally. It is just as good as the excellent program whose namesake it shares.
Actor/director/teacher. Live most of the time in Beijing now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
Luther is the most riveting crime novel I have read in a couple years. Listening to the narrative is very much like witnessing a gruesome accident from which we find we cannot avert our eyes. Neil Cross has created a compelling character in John Luther and to a purpose. A highly experienced and intuitive police officer, Luther is convinced that he is uniquely suited to stand opposite the most twisted and depraved individuals in society and, in effect, interpose himself between them and the innocents upon whom they seek to prey. What sets him apart is that he also comes to realize that there is a price which must be paid by those who choose to come to grips with undiluted evil. In a kind of increasingly chilling zero sum game, we watch him gradually sacrifice in his own life all the things which he is working to preserve for others. His ability to believe in himself as a "good" person; his capacity for joy; his vital connection with a wife whom he adores.
It is one thing, and a very good thing, when an author presents us with realistic characters who are never paragons of unadulterated virtue nor irredeemable ciphers for evil. It is quite a different and somewhat less common thing that Cross is doing here. After providing us with a convincing portrait of evil in its most distilled and irreversible form, he forces us to acknowledge the profound personal and spiritual sacrifices which may be necessary if we are to confront and defeat it. The result is Luther, a scapegoat who is forced into the wilderness bearing the excruciating marks of the guilty action which preserves us. In the end you may decide that Cross has created a false choice, but at the very least you will have to wrestle with the question seriously.
This is not pleasant material. Listeners who cannot abide portrayals of abhorrent crimes or who have problems with realistic language or sexual situations should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are interested in a gripping and convincing story which challenges some of your fundamental assumptions, you could hardly do better. The book is read superbly, and you may continue to hear it whispering in your mind long after Audible has hoped "you enjoyed this book."
Seeking the Truth
Detective John Luther's calling in life is murder. He's exceptionally good at it -- not at committing the crime, but uncovering who did it. He's an extraordinary man; he has a near-genius IQ and has the personality to be liked and trusted by everyone with whom he works and lives. But what stands out about Luther is his eerie sixth sense about people, the type of overwhelmingly powerful intuition we sometimes hear and marvel about (and perhaps were all meant to have but which got lost in evolution somewhere for most of us). When Luther's on the trail of a murderer, he's obsessive, unrelenting, madly driven, super-charged, and ... oh, yeah -- very, very dangerous.
The narration by David Bauckham is excellent. The story by Neil Cross is superb but dark and brutal. It is not for children or even adults who are easily shocked, offended or unnerved. It graphically describes gruesome or horrifying scenes (murder and otherwise) without apology, clearly expresses what Luther sees and feels at the scene and while on his hunt for the killer, and precisely communicates the growing and perhaps soon-to-be unmanageable rage within him. The subplots flow quite well within the story and add to, rather than detract from, the overall characterization of this extremely complex man.
This is one of the few crime novels I would recommend spending your credits on, if you think you're strong enough to take it.
71 year old avid reader using either my eyes or ears. I make earrings that I donate to shelters and while I work, I listen to wonderful books. I also keep in mind that you have to kiss frogs to find princes - time's too short to bother with losers.
Reading is, first and foremost, a matter of taste. IMHO this one's a bit too British for mine. I love a good police procedural but I guess local (US based) cases appeal to me more, and getting through the heavy British accent of the narrator (appropriate as it might be) was too much for me.
Long time shopper, reader, listener, and audio book enthusiast.
As an American, I preferred to listen to the narration of this story rather than use my own inner voice for the characters. English accents are fascinating, and David Bauckham, does an excellent version of Luther's persona.
Luther, obviously. He's a smart character and makes the tough choices. And well written. I don't listen to many police dramas, but I could definitely find time for more Luther. In some ways, Luther is like that bald guy on the TV show The Shield (at first anyway). Even when he starts crossing the line, like going vigilante a little bit, I'm right there rooting for him.
I'm looking forward to Peter James book called "Dead Tomorrow". Thanks in part to all the links Audible provides to authors and narrators on their website.
Yes, just like I wanted to watch all of the episodes of the TV series at once too!
Yes. More Luther Please!
I am a fan of the show and it provided even more insight into the main character
The details. It describes each of the crimes and victims vividly.
Heartpounding; Intriguing; Compelling
There are two moments where otherwise disparate parts of the story come crashing together. The listener enjoys an "ah-ha" moment.
Mr. Bauckham gives voice to the characters. Though this is not a dramatization, you do get the sense of seeing or hearing different actors portraying the different characters.
He is a master of several british realm accents, allowing the listener to believe that they are listening to the characters and not a narrator.
I loved the authors attention to detail without getting too verbose! One example that stuck in my mind was " the smell of old dust on a warm lightbulb" .
Very graphic and dark story, but I like those kind! Very fast paced with lots of action. He does a great job of portraying a very sick and twisted mind.
I loved all the subtle differences in the British dialects.
I loved the tv series, which did a very good job of bringing Luther to life, but the detail in the book is wonderful. Great author. Can't wait for the next one!
dark, intense, riveting
the story is good, gritty, and makes you know about the character Luther before the television series started.
This will be a hard book to listen to if you are squeamish, but it is a good book. It is graphic in the description of the criminal activity.
Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.
I bought this book based upon the strong reviews, but it didn't live up to my expectations. The character development of the villain was very weak. First, the author wants us to believe he is this methodical, careful, experienced killer, then we see the guy wailing on people out on the sidewalk. What? Really?
The plot wasn't all that strong, either. I came very close to shutting it down with about 2 hours left, but somehow managed to stick it out.
There are better murder mysteries out there.
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