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Publisher's Summary

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, he's the obvious choice to track the executioner's mental and physical journey.

Except that Tony doesn't want to do this anymore.

But the case is about to come uncomfortably close to home. The next victim is a friend of his. And his former partner, DCI Carol Jordan, is herself in Germany, working undercover in a world where human life is cheaper than a drug deal. She needs his help as much as the beleaguered European police forces do.

Confronting the worst of contemporary crime and struggling to unravel roots that lie deep in the tormented past of Nazi atrocities and Statsi abuses, Tony and Carol are forced to battle for their survival against overwhelming odds.

Deftly merging the dark world of forensic psychology and the crime-streaked word of post-Cold War Europe, McDermid has created a truly original crime thriller for our time.

©2002 Val McDermid; (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

Critic Reviews

"With consummate skill and pacing, [McDermid] braids together the complex story lines through surprising revelations, heartstopping suspense, and cruel double-crosses." (Publishers Weekly)
"Guerin Barry narrates changes in location and high-action sequences without a hitch." (AudioFile)
"The Last Temptation is a masterful examination of evil and relics of the Nazi and Stasi years in Germany." (The Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Jannice
  • Sugar Land, TX, USA
  • 04-08-04

The Last Temptation - Wrong voice

I chose this book because I have enjoyed the BBC productions of the Tony Hill mysteries. This selection was a disappointment on 2 levels.
1) The author does a good job of constructing and pacing the criminal and forensic aspects of the story, but unfortunately does not have a good ear for realistic dialogue between characters. They always sound as if they are on stage, feeding us needed information for plot purposes.
2) With characters that are exclusively British or European, this book cries out for a reader that is British and also able to manage credible European accents. This reader is American and his attempts at accents reminds me of Saturday Nite Live style characatures, especially the heavy-handed German voices. The over-all emotional tone is of the "stiff upper lip" Brit style, and his rendition of the main female character verges on the falsetto. The intrinsic dialogue flaws from the author are just magnified by this poor choice of reader.
Those who don't already have a "mind's eye view" of Hill and Jordan from the BBC productions may not feel as critical of this presentation as I am. The story itself is good. I recommend listening to the sample to make a choice about selecting this book or not.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not as good as The Distant Echo

If you are considering trying your first Val McDermid audiobook, choose The Distant Echo--the narration is far better. Indeed The Distant Echo is one of the very best audiobooks I've ever heard.

Not that this book is poorly ready, just that the style is a bit flat, compared to the lively Scottish brogue used to read McDermid's other novel.

I also found the characters in this novel a bit flat compared to what I know McDermid can do based on her other novels. Perhaps the problem is the abridgment--I was periodically left with the impression that I was getting the facts, the plot line but not really gaining enough insight into the motivations of the characters. I suspect an unabridged version would have "read" better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A bit disappointed

Would you try another book from Val McDermid and/or Guerin Barry?

I have enjoyed both paper books and audible books by Val McDermid in the past, but I wasn't happy with this reading. Barry has a pleasant voice when narrating the story but did not do well on the character's accents or the women's voices. At times the emphasis points of sentences was off, like you'd find in an amateur theater production. I didn't finish the book, it annoyed me so much.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Temptation?

I liked the German setting.

How could the performance have been better?

The previous book in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series was read by Michael Tudor Barnes and the characters rang true. That was not the case in this reading.

Did The Last Temptation inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to cut my losses and not finish it, which is always irritating because I feel like I wasted a credit. In the future I will listen to samples before I buy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narrator totally wrong for Val McDermid books!

The narrator was so wrong it was a struggle to finish the book and I LOVE the series. A true shame

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Too short

Wish I had paid more attention when I purchased this book. The story is good, but the abridged version is very unsatisfying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • PERSONAL
  • IRVINE, CA, United States
  • 05-13-14

disappointed

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone listening to the story for the first time or who hasn't listened to the other stories as an Audible book.

What didn’t you like about Guerin Barry’s performance?

It wasn't for me. I didn't care for the addition of music, I think it cheapens the story and the performance. My issue isn't so much with Barry's performance, but with my expectations and previous experience listening to Gerard Doyle's readings. It is Doyle's voice that I want and expect to add his flavor to the characters. It was very disconcerting to deal with a different representation of my beloved Tony & Carol.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Last Temptation?

All the music interludes should be removed!!

Any additional comments?

The story didn't flow. I felt like I missed something. It didn't feel as detailed as other novels, but I'm willing to consider that I felt this way because the performance so threw me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Overly dramatic reader.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The story is pretty typical Val McDermid, although some of the writing is not up to his usual ability. However the reader makes it worse. EVERY line is read as if it is the most important line in the book - way overly dramatic. Skip this one if you value your mind and ears.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Typical

What didn’t you like about Guerin Barry’s performance?

See above

Do you think The Last Temptation needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I am no longer going to follow this series. The writing gets worse with each book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Too much fake accent

Another well written story by Val McDermid that continues the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan Series. The characters continue to develop and the multi-layered plot is handled pretty well. I find the conclusion of these stories to be a bit abrupt, but the story is more about the hunt than the kill.
The performance is way to focused on fake German accents and it really distracted from the content. I'm sure the print version does not have the extra V's and R's that the narrator over emphasized.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story, horrible reader

The accents were painful from start to finish. Val is an ace. If it weren't for the story the audiobook would have been lost.....

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

changed narrator from first books in series.

Not a fan of the new narrator. the first guy was very good. other wise it was a good story