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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunters Become The Prey
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...
Published on 2 Feb 2002 by campobelli@aol.com

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flat and boring
I have read three other Val McDermid novels and really enjoyed them. Good plots and some tight writing. But I stopped reading this one after 150 pages. Too much of the writing was padding that gave so much insight into the villains' minds that there was absolutely no sense of suspense or anticipation. I think the editor should have insisted on a shorter novel that...
Published on 20 Dec 2007 by D. P. Mankin


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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunters Become The Prey, 2 Feb 2002
This review is from: The Last Temptation (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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good - but not quite great, 19 Nov 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Temptation (Hardcover)
There is just something missing to make this a great book but it is a riveting read and the description of the policework in Holland and Germany was fascinating. There is the feeling that the author suddenly tired of the book and it ends rather abruptly and it is difficult to believe that a seasoned policewoman would make such an elementary mistake. That being said it is a book which is difficult to put down and in Tony Hill we have a character who is flawed in a way which is not usual in this genre (i.e. the failed marriage, workaholic, borderline alcoholic cliché). I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next, it will be interesting to see if the author will come back to Hill an Jordan and where they can go from here.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Val McDermid has crafted another winner, 20 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Temptation (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not her best., 26 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Temptation (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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Resonance of Evil, 28 Nov 2002
By 
taking a rest - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Last Temptation (Hardcover)
This is the third novel I have read by Val McDermid. The first was, "A Place Of Execution", and it remains my favorite of the three. This newest offering, "Last Temptation", is a very good tale, but is definitely not for those readers who prefer to avoid the grisly details of murders, in this case those of a serial killer. There is also brutal violence with both men and women as victims, so read and be prepared. I don't find her descriptions to be gratuitous, just very graphic. Her portrayals are probably much more accurate than generic descriptions of violence that have become so prevalent and cliché that they are barely noticed. This author illustrates for the reader just how vile murder and violence are.

This author uses atrocities committed by a group in the 20th century that I generally have tired of reading bout, as they have become the crutch for any form of evil. It is a tribute to this lady's talent that she has found a more obscure practice of the Germany of the Nazi's to play a very valid role in this novel. She also represents the evil of this group through the effects they have had on generations that were not even alive when they practiced their atrocities. Their twisted science echoes through the victims to their descendents, and this adds an entirely new dimension to the resonance of evil.

The only aspect of the story I found troubling was the placement of the two main characters so close together while they were working on different operations. It makes the story work, but from the moment the situation is set, you know this is the Achilles Heal that will bring the protagonists to the edge, or possibly over, to their detriment.

I don't read many books in this type of genre, but Val McDermid seems as though her work should have a much greater following than it does. If these types of work appeal to you, pick this lady's work up; you will be happy you did.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flat and boring, 20 Dec 2007
By 
D. P. Mankin (Ceredigion, Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Last Temptation (Paperback)
I have read three other Val McDermid novels and really enjoyed them. Good plots and some tight writing. But I stopped reading this one after 150 pages. Too much of the writing was padding that gave so much insight into the villains' minds that there was absolutely no sense of suspense or anticipation. I think the editor should have insisted on a shorter novel that revealed much less until the concluding pages. But it hasn't put me off reading more of her novels. I can tolerate the odd turkey. TIP: don't read this as your first Val McDermid novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very PC (and that's not as in police constable), 20 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Last Temptation (Kindle Edition)
Technically this is quite a good thriller which juggles two plots reasonably well. However, it grates a bit that all the nasty characters are heterosexual men with the exception of Tony Hill who is, of course, impotent. The only people who manage to connect emotionally with one another are two lesbian police officers. The serial killer in the plot was sexually abused by his grandfather who, it is implied, drove his daughter away to raise the boy on his own. The chief detective, Carol Doyle, is so resourceful, tough and clever that she is almost stereotypically male, if that is possible, a sort of 007 with blonde hair. By setting out to overturn the standard cliches of the genre the book manages to parody itself in some very banal passages.

This sort of pattern - evil heterosexual men, decent impotent men, morally decent gay people - becomes a politically correct distraction in many of the authors books. It is what would happen if Andrew Dworkin wrote crime thrillers.

Personally, I would not deny that there is a terrible misogyny in so many books of this genre. The victims are always women, some male writers do seem to take pleasure in this, and the killers are often twisted by what their mothers did to them. A perfect example - and a very good read - is Thomas Harris' 'Red Dragon' where Dolarhyde is a victim of systematic abuse by his grandmother, having been rejected at birth by his mother.

Clearly there is scope to explore other possibilities in this genre. However, the present book, and others in the series, though very well written and with strong plots, often come across more as propaganda against the 'evil hetero world' than as fiction, with implicit polemic replacing the free rein of creativity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is another good read from Val McDermid, 22 Sep 2014
By 
Mr. Peter Steward "petersteward" (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Last Temptation (Kindle Edition)
This is another good read from Val McDermid. Excellently well researched across a number of borders and countries with a couple of inter weaving and quite complex plots. My only problem is a couple of implausible areas that it would be wrong to go into without giving the plot away.

The various strands are tied up neatly and there is plenty of good psychological profiling, following on from Wire in the Blood. Possibly the gangsters/criminals are rather typecast but the author shows her skills by keeping the tension going despite revealing early on the name of the serial killer and also the reason for their crimes.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the usual excellent standard, 18 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Temptation (Hardcover)
I was eagerly anticipating reading this book,
having thoroughly enjoyed Val McDermid`s previous thrillers. However, this book just didn`t live up to her usual excellent standard.
There were two plots running through this book-one involving a serial killer, the other Carol Jordan`s undercover operation in Europe to capture Tadeusz, a major force in organised crime. Although the book starts by building up both of these plots, I feel that more could have been made of the serial killer storyline, as this could have been developed in much more depth, rather than having what seemed to be a rather rushed conclusion.
My other criticism of the plot was a rather obvious error made in the undercover operation, which I feel just would not be made by the characters in this situation.
This book is still entertaining and worth reading, but it is just not as strong as Val McDermid`s usual writing
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4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping an compelling read let down by an implausible twist in the plot, 18 July 2014
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This review is from: The Last Temptation (Kindle Edition)
This is the third book I have read in the Tony Hill series, so getting to understand the characters quite well. The plot develops quickly, to the point where it became difficult to put the book down. That said, I was a bit disappointed by what I felt was an implausible twist in the plot which left me questioning if I wanted to finish the book. I did pick it up again a couple of day's later, which proved to be the right choice. I'll now move on to the next book in the series.
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The Last Temptation
The Last Temptation by Val McDermid
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