Cover image for The last temptation
The last temptation
McDermid, Val.
Personal Author:
First St. Martin's Minotaur edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002.
Physical Description:
431 pages : map ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Mapping the minds of murderers is what Dr. Tony Hill does better than anyone. So when a twisted killer starts targeting psychologists across Northern Europe, Hill is the obvious choice to track the executioner's mental and physical journey.

Except that Tony, still bearing the scars of past cases, doesn't want to do this anymore.

But the killer is about to strike uncomfortably close to home. The next victim is a friend and colleague. And Tony's former partner, Detective Carol Jordan, is directly in the murderer's path, working undercover in a world where human life means less than the smallest drug deal. She needs Tony's help as much as the beleaguered European police officials do.

Now the danger is closing in. Confronting the worst of modern crime and struggling to unravel roots that lie deep in the tormented past of Nazi atrocities and Stasi abuses, Tony and Carol are forced to battle for survival against overwhelming odds. In this morass of double-cross and double-dealing, they have no one to trust but each other. Deftly merging the dark terrain of forensic psychology with the brooding, crime-streaked world of post-Cold War Europe, McDermid's latest is an unrivaled tour de force that takes Tony Hill further into the mind of a killer than he's ever dared to go before.

Author Notes

Val McDermid was born in Scotland on June 4, 1955. She was the first student from a state school in Scotland accepted to read English at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She graduated in 1975 and became a journalist. She wrote her first novel at the age of 21. It didn't get published, but she turned it into a play entitled Like a Happy Ending. It was performed by the Plymouth Theatre Company and was later adapted for BBC radio. Her first book, Report for Murder, was published in 1987. She is the author of the Lindsay Gordon Mystery series, the Kate Brannigan Mystery series, and the Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Mysteries series as well as several stand alone books including The Distant Echo, A Darker Domain, Trick of the Dark and Out of Bounds. The Mermaids Singing won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

McDermid's third thriller featuring psychological profiler Tony Hill is packed with white-knuckle suspense, hot action, and graphic chills. British detective Carol Jordan's superiors promise her a transfer to criminal intelligence--in exchange for a favor. Carol is a dead ringer for the dead girlfriend of German crime boss Tadeusz Krasic, who has interests in drugs, gunrunning, and transporting illegal immigrants into England. The Brits are eager to bring him down and want Carol to go to Germany and see if her looks and a lucrative business proposal can draw Krasic into the "honeypot." Meanwhile, a deadly serial killer is targeting psychologists in Holland and Germany, and Hill is brought in to help catch him. With both Tony and Carol in Germany, it's no time before their long-standing mutual attraction brings them together. Despite some plot holes and one inexplicably brainless move by the heroine, McDermid's latest is sure to be a hit with thriller fans. --Emily Melton

Publisher's Weekly Review

British author McDermid brings back DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Dr. Tony Hill from The Mermaids Singing (1995) and The Wire in the Blood (1997) and thrusts them into a psychologically chilling and multifaceted thriller. Jordan goes undercover in Germany as part of a dangerous operation to capture Tadeusz Radecki, an international smuggler of drugs and illegal aliens. Meanwhile, her contact in Berlin, Criminal Intelligence Officer Petra Becker, is helping her Internet lover, Dutch Brigadier Marijke van Hasselt, on a grisly case whose victims, psychological researchers, are sexually tortured and murdered. Jordan suggests that Dr. Hill work with them in Berlin. The suspense builds as scenes alternate among the two English crime fighters, Becker, van Hasselt, Radecki and his henchman, Darko Krasic, and the anonymous serial killer, whose grisly tactics echo Nazi psychological experiments. McDermid gives depth and individuality to all seven characters and each city. With consummate skill and pacing, she braids together the complex story lines through surprising revelations, heartstopping suspense and cruel double-crosses. The two major plots don't mesh, but they crisscross, creating even more tension. McDermid's writing and her understanding of the criminal mind get better with each novel. With its European locales, depiction of Nazi mind experiments and hints at another Jordan/Hill novel, this may well be her breakout book. She certainly deserves it. (Sept. 30) Forecast: The release this summer of the two previous novels featuring Jordan and Hill in mass-market, in conjunction with a seven-city author tour, should make McDermid's name a lot better known to American readers. She has won Anthony and Gold Dagger awards and been a finalist for an Edgar. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The two major plots of McDermid's mystery develop slowly but unerringly on parallel paths. Profiler Dr. Tony Hill tracks a serial killer whose own abuse ties back to the darkest pages of Germany's history. Meanwhile, British police detective Carol Jordan is undercover in Germany to try to entrap a major crime lord in a dangerously constructed operation. Gerard Doyle handles the suspenseful pacing quite well. Listeners should be forewarned that there is heavy violence and much that is disturbing in the descriptions of abuse and in many of the incidents depicted here. This is an engaging but difficult story. Highly recommended for adult audiences only.-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.