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The Last Temptation Paperback – 6 Feb 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (6 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006514197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006514190
  • ASIN: 0007217137
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. She divides her time between Northumberland and Cheshire

Product Description

Amazon Review

Val McDermid just gets better and better. The Last Temptation is intelligent about undercover police work and psychological profiling as well as moving on the human cost to the people who have to do society's dirty work.

We are back with profiler Tony Hills and super-competent cop Carol, who we met in The Mermaids Singing and The Wire in the Blood. The couple's past experiences have created a bond between them as well as a certain inability to bear the sight of each other. They are brought back into co-operation by the needs of the job in its European dimension. Tony is persuaded to help track a European killer who drowns and mutilates psychologists, while Carol is working undercover to trap a drug trafficker whose dead lover spookily resembles her.

As always, McDermid writes brilliant criminals. She adds that deadening of sympathy which makes horror possible. Both aristocratic gangster Tadeusz and vengeful psychotic Mann have their reasons for being who they are, doing what they do. McDermid makes us care that her detectives succeed and survive just that little bit more than we care for her villains to escape. She writes excellent thrillers simply because she has a journalist's eye for both sides of each case. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Val McDermid is one of the few crime authors who can be convincing when it comes to 'writing tough' yet retain a powerful emotional insight… McDermid is doing something quite extraordinary with the crime fiction suspense thriller' Scotland on Sunday

'This is a hugely ambitious novel, involving three police forces, of which the British seem to be the most Machiavellian' Express

Praise for Val McDermid:

'Val McDermid is a roaring Ferrari amid the crowded traffic on the crime-writing road' Independent

'McDermid has become our leading pathologist of everyday evil… The subtle orchestration of terror is masterful' Guardian


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By campobelli@aol.com on 2 Feb. 2002
Format: Hardcover
We are all Europeans now, but that does not stop cross boundary suspicion among police forces when a serial killer is using the waterways of Germany and the Netherlands to target his victims. At the same time Carol Jordan is cajoled into going underground to trap a particularly nasty trafficker in drugs and illegal immegrants, with the carrot of a top European job if she succeeds.
How these two disperate stories are woven together is the genius of Val McDermid, her writing getting stronger by the book. This is the third Tony Hill/Carol Jordan book and, with the Wire in the Blood soon to be on our TV screens, she is soon to be catapulted into Rankine status.
What McDermid brings is a truly gruesome modus operendi, matched by a credible pyschological reason for the disturbed mind behind it. She creates not monsters, but damaged characters who are all the more scary for it.
Tony Hill and Carol Jordan use professional detachment to avoid intimacy; their struggle against their emotions rumbles like a volcano beneath the major plot lines. The closer they get together the more they put themselves at risk. The risk is not just that they might have to reveal vulnerable aspects to one another, but that this "weakness" will be exploited by some very nasty characters indeed.
Powerful, dark and gripping, The Last Temptation is not for the nervous. It will make you think and it will lose you sleep.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Feb. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is yet another superb thriller from Val McDermid.
Her writing is simply stunning, and she evokes the waterways of central Europe brilliantly.
Tony Hill and Carol Jordan are back, thankfully. I have always thought of them as being her two most important lead characters. Kate Brannigan and Lindsay Gordon don't have a patch on them.
Anyway, they are back, and simply simmering with that sexual tension and unvoiced loved for one another. However, neither will commit due to their belief that they aren't good enough, reliable enough, whatever, for the other.
However, aside from the fact that this book had a cracking plot and a cast of great characters, it has flaws.
Val spends too long with Carol Jordan undercover than her serial killer. I'll admit, Carol Jordan going undercover to catch the villainous Tadeusz Radecki was very interesting, but it wasn't as interesting as the other half of the plot concerning murderered psychologists. She doesn't go into enough detail with that side of the plot, and it feels secondary, where it really shouldn't. She should have had that one as the central plot, asit was even more interesting than the other, and really the reason why i read the book. I like serial killer stuff, and would have preferred if this were more of a serial killer novel. Although admittedly it is a great thriller either way. But the serial killer side of it is underdeveloped and seems 2 dimensional at stages.
That is practically my only niggle with it.
I was afraid when i read the synopsis saying "a serial killer is murdering psychologists" that it would be too much like Killing the Shadows ("a serial killer is picking off bestselling writers") But Val MCDermid manages to side step that considerable landmine, and has crafted a chilling and interesting thriller which should please all her fans.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Feb. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I can assure one of the previous reviewsers that Val MCDermid is definitely not an over-hyped novelist. Some of her previous books have been absolutely stunners. Absolute stunners. (I am thinking in particular of The Mermaids Singing, the Wire in the Blood, A Place of Execution, and the sublime Killing the Shadows.) However, this one does not compare as well as some of the others.
Firstly, the undercover side was all well and good, but it dominated the plot far too much. and as a result what was actually a really decent premise of a serial killer plot was left as a secondary plot and remained slightly underdevloped. I simply did not care to read a novel dominated by Carol going under cover. It wasn't that it wasn't interesting, it was just that i would really have preferred (as i think another reviewer has said) much more concentration on the serial killer aspect. I would rather have had the entire book about the serial killer, as it had superb possibility and potential, but she failed to bring it out. Actually, i am very disappointed. I was expecting a lot more. A tense serial killer thriller, when instead i got a novel about someone going undercover to catch an underdeveloped and not at all menacing villain. It's a great shame. had she concentrated a lot more on the other aspect of the plot, then this book may well have turned out as one of her best. And even though i am extremely disappointed, i can still say that a disappointing Val McDermid book is still much better than anything else currently on the market. Hence the four stars.
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Format: Paperback
DCI Carol Jordan is recruited for a special undercover mission in Germany which it is hoped will lead to the downfall of underworld boss Tadeusz and his trafficking operations in drugs and illegal immigrants. Meanwhile a murderer is abroad, hunting and killing psychologists across Northern Europe. Psychological profiler, Tony Hill, is expert at tracking serial killers but Carol knows Tony has turned his back on that profession after the horrors of the prior investigations that threw them together. Nevertheless Carol seeks Tony's help for her perilous undercover role, contact between them is re-established and the tensions of unfinished business between them rekindled. When someone Tony actually knows becomes the murderer's latest victim he is irresistibly drawn into assisting the law enforcement agencies who need his expertise.
This is the third novel to feature Tony Hill and McDermid writes with an assurance and style that leaves the reader confident that they are in safe hands for a treacherous and nail-biting journey. Her storytelling is as fluent as the rivers that form the landscape of the novel. Her accounts of abuse and cruelty are unflinching and disturbing as she examines, through the voice of the murderer, a cycle of violence set in motion by the depraved activities of the Nazis and of the German citizens and professionals who colluded with them. A Euro-thriller with action that spans the continent and is bound to be a huge success at home and abroad. Superb.

Cath Staincliffe author of the popular Sal Kilkenny mysteries set on the mean streets of Manchester
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