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The Last Temptation Hardcover – 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2002
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st Edition edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002005247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002005241
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,085,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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: 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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