john luther, dci

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Luther leans against the wall and flicks through the file. Sees arrest sheets, mugshots, surveillance reports.
The top sheets detail the kids who were arrested, remanded and released for harassing Bill Tanner: dead-eyed ratboys, English white trash.
Beneath the arrest sheets are more detailed reports on Lee Kidman, Barry Tonga and their boss Julian Crouch.
Luther slips the folder into a carrier bag and checks his watch.
It’s late. He thinks about going home. But what would be the point? He thinks about the dead and can’t sleep. He lies there boiling like a star about to explode.
So he drives to Crouch’s place, a townhouse overlooking Highbury Fields.
He parks and sits at the wheel. He wonders what he’s going to do to Julian Crouch and how he’s going to get away with it.

from: The Calling: A John Luther Novel

An Explosion of Violence

A man rushes through a decrepit factory. Luther follows him. He wants … what does he want? The man abducted a girl and left her suffocating in a box. It seems to be not the first girl the man tortures and leaves to die. Luther knows about them and this time he wants to find the girl – alive. His colleagues are in the man’s house and search it – without success so far.

The man faces Luther, attacks him and he falls down being able to get a grip on a bar – now dangling some dozen meters over the ground. Luther pushes, pushes more and finally gets the crucial bits of information; his colleagues save the girl’s life – all’s well that ends well? No. Luther doesn’t reach out for the man, but moves his foot slowly … the man’s fingers slip and he crashes to the ground.

In short: there are no witnesses. So Luther may resume his work as a DCI in London some time later. However, unfortunately the “man” isn’t dead, but only comatose. He rests motionless in a bed in a clinic … somewhere in one of the next seasons, episodes later, he’ll regain consciousness meaning trouble for Luther. However, no worries! It will be fixed. Guess how …

Luther is a maniac when pursuing justice, his very own concept of justice. The series starts with this mind-blowing act and it rushes on at the same level and speed.

I’ve only recently read the novel, a prequel to the TV series. (It’s a prequel because the novel deals with the “man” and his crimes finishing with the race across the decrepit factory …)

The TV series, however, was on my schedule all the years. So I watched continuously how Luther gets lost in the dark deeper and deeper. Especially when binge watching the series from the beginning to the end, including the recent season you may track Luther’s slithering towards the abyss.

Honestly, Luther walks on a thin line between crime and law enforcement. More than once he stumbles and finds himself forced to fight for his life and reputation although all he simply wants is justice, locking the bad guys up and throw away the keys.

Luther is intelligent and experienced. At the same time he is hot-tempered in his professional as well as in his private life. His marriage to a beautiful independent wife, a lawyer, is on the edge because of his unpredictable outbursts. Luther is more married to his job and his mission than to his wife. (In the prequel novel the events leading to the current situation of the marriage are pictured in detail.) Now there is a separation and his wife restarts her life with another partner. Luther isn’t amused about it and tries to turn back time.

Before dealing with the fate of Luther’s wife let’s have a look at the police. Luther isn’t a loner – there are colleagues. While Luther sticks at nothing when he follows any leads, this is also true for his colleagues, however, restricted, strongly restricted. The team works mainly on murder cases, dreadful murder cases hunting down psychos and cold-blooded pros in crime. (Almost always in the dark and shady parts of London … deserted quarters …)

Members of the team get abducted and injured, others cash in on opportunities. Nobody is innocent resp. stays innocent when co-operating with Luther. A very special nasty affair develops around one of Luther’s best buddies (… and Luther’s wife gets killed during this corruption mess).

Coming back to Luther and his way of fulfilling his job. He more or less breaks the law when he thinks it’s necessary to move forward in a crime mess. (It’s always a mess in the series.) He also covers up for his team. All these actions have consequences: Luther is susceptible to blackmail. You can imaging that this drags him down even more e. g. when forced to unveil crucial data to a modern warlord. However, be sure that Luther always strikes back.

… and there is Alice. Who is Alice? One of Luther’s first cases after his encounter with the man who ends up comatose is the violent death of a couple on a really nice estate; the family obviously is well-off. Alice, the daughter, a highly intelligent young woman with university degrees in science, survives and seems to be the victim. Of course she isn’t the victim, but the architect of the disaster …

Luther knows the truth, but there isn’t any evidence. On the other hand Alice seems to get fond of Luther and from now on one of the most interesting and devastating relationships evolves you’ve ever watched. Alice is ruthless concerning her own security and also Luther’s future. She kills in cold blood. Finally she dies … at least it seems so.

At the end of the recent season Luther has to face an investigation. It will be a thorough investigation because of all the action and investigation having gone wrong and all the dead people – some are dead because of Luther.

Let’s surprise ourselves … any follow-up?

There isn’t a next season, but a movie – and honestly – I’m not so happy with this movie. It starts well, but then it goes pear-shaped … even for Luther and his history of violence it’s beyond all crime imaginable. What a pity!

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare