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. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
In the third book of McDermid's popular series (after The Wire in the Blood and The Mermaids), Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan and psychologist Tony Hill return. Carol has agreed to go undercover in Berlin in a sting operation against the handsome and charming but ruthless trafficker in illegal immigrants, Tadeusz Radecki. Meanwhile, intelligence officer Petra Becker, the German liaison in Carol's undercover operation, has begun an online relationship with Marijke van Hasselt, a policewoman from the Netherlands. When Marijke mentions a grizzly murder that she is investigating in Leiden, Petra remembers reading of a similar murder in Germany. Carol persuades Tony to come to Berlin to help Petra and Marijke find the killer who is targeting experimental psychologists. This well-executed novel has it all: a complex, suspenseful plot, a full cast of interesting characters, and two budding romances. Tony's persistent angst becomes rather tiresome, but even he grows more tolerable as the novel progresses. Recommended for most mystery collections. Jane la Plante, Minot State Univ. Lib., ND Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Whoever he is, Geronimo-the code name psychological profiler Dr. Tony Hill uses for the latest serial killer in his sights-doesn't have much use for psychologists. Beginning with Dr. Walter Neumann of the University of Heidelberg, he's been knocking them out, tying them to their own desks, stripping them, drowning them, and shaving their privates. Geronimo's macabre ritual is so distinctive, in fact, that it's not long before cops in two European countries sense that their victims are only part of a larger pattern and start sharing their information through Europol. As luck would have it, their investigation is gathering steam just as Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan, long in love with unresponsive Tony, arrives in Germany on her first assignment as Europol Liaison Officer: to capitalize on her uncanny resemblance to Katerina Basler, late mistress of mobster Tadeusz Radecki, to go undercover as a partner in Tadzio's operation smuggling illegal Chinese in order to make him an offer he'll be too entranced to refuse-an offer that will smash his whole immigration ring. As Carol worms her way into Tadzio's confidence, Tony is building up a portrait of Geronimo from the evidence the police have painstakingly amassed. Then suddenly, on page 338, both Carol and Tony begin to act accountably reckless, setting the stage for a melodramatic third act that undercuts the considerable ambitions McDermid (Killing the Shadows, 2001, etc.) has for this dark tale. A successor to The Mermaids Singing (1996) so densely packed that the poor serial killer almost gets dropped between the cracks. Author tour
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.” 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.” Booklist
“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)