The Last Temptation
By Val McDermid
(St. Martin's Paperbacks, Mass Market Paperback, 9780312986315, 496pp.)
Publication Date: October 2003
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Coming to terms over her breakup with criminal profiler Dr. Tony Hill, Chief Inspector Carol Jordan plunges into a risky undercover sting: track down a European drug trafficker and gain his confidence. But she's being tracked as well-by a serial killer whose psychosexual madness is born out of the darkest corners of history. In quiet isolation, Tony Hill is laying to rest the scars of his past-until he's recruited back into business on a case he can't ignore. An evil is striking uncomfortably close to home, and casting a killer shadow over the life of his long-time colleague and sometimes lover. As the danger closes in, and as Tony and Carol cross paths to navigate the terrain of a shattered human mind, they have no one left to trust but themselves-and fear that there's no place left to run as a killer promises to fulfill his most twisted dreams.
Deftly merging the dark terrain of forensic psychology with the brooding, crime-streaked world of post-Cold War Europe, Val McDermid's The Last Temptation 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.
Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community and then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years and is now a full-time writer and lives in South Manchester. In 1995, she won the Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year. Her most recent novel, A Place of Execution, won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel, and named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
"Relentless, electric and absorbing, this is a thriller not to miss." -Los Angeles Times Book Review, "A Best Book of 2002"
"[McDermid is] the best we've got." -The New York Times Book Review
"A tense thriller...a chain of events that brings a frenetic conclusion followed by a smart-well-concealed twist." -Boston Globe
"A psychologically chilling and multifaceted thriller...With consummate skill and pacing, [McDermid] braids together the complex story lines through surprising revelations, heart-stopping suspense and cruel double-crosses...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."-Publishers Weekly
"McDermid's Dr. Tony Hill is so tortured he makes Thomas Harris's troubled heroes seem like lighthearted game-show hosts. McDermid has become a whiz at generating breathless, crosscutting suspense."--GQ
"This well-executed novel has it all: a complex, suspenseful plot, a full cast of interesting characters, and two budding romances."-Library Journal
"Exciting and compassionate." -Salon.com
"White-knuckle suspense, hot action, and graphic chills. Sure to be a hit with thriller fans."
"Irresistible...McDermid skillfully controls her cast...This is a hugely ambitious novel, involving three police forces, [and] the settings in Berlin are vividly evoked."-The Daily Express (UK)
"More than just a serial killer novel, [The Last Temptation is] a masterful examination of evil and the relics of Nazi and Stasi years in Germany."-The Guardian (UK)
"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."-Scotland on Sunday (UK)
"A scary, disturbing, exciting, and atmospheric white-knuckle read."-The London Times (UK)