• The Last Temptation

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Guerin Barry
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (148 ratings)

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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 listeners say about The Last Temptation

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    40
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    17
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    7
Performance
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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    30
  • 4 Stars
    22
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    17
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    29
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    46
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  • 3 Stars
    24
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    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Abridged audio version a great disappointment

This abridged audio version was the only one I could find available in the U.S. and what a disappointment. I had just finished listening to Book 2 in the Tony Hill series and was desperate to get Book 3. I checked everywhere for the audio version and finally realized that for some reason (due to publisher or copyright rules or laws?) the unabridged version of “The Last Temptation” by Val McDermid was NOT available in the U.S. I used a credit and kept my fingers crossed. I will be very careful in the future to screen Audio Renaissance books. The reader had an American accent and his voices for the various characters were low-level. His German/Dutch or whatever accents were those of an entry level actor. Because of the abridged presentation the book lacked the richness of development I had found in McDermid’s previous two books in the series. I’m sure the unabridged version of the book would have had real potential. My feeling is that unless the publisher could produce the complete book in audio form with a first rate reader, they should have given up the project. I wish I could have gotten my hands on the complete audio version available in the United Kingdom. Two thumbs down on this audio version.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Get an Englishman or woman!

I gave the performance one star because the interface won’t let me give it a zero. I gave the story four stars because I enjoyed other McDermid books.
I’m an American but I think the choice of this American as the reader was disastrous. The two main characters are English and he renders them in flat, American accents. This is especially disappointing after listening to the excellent English reader on “Wire in the Blood.” While the “Last Temptation” reader does Tony and Carol as Americans, he reads the various, continental European characters in comical, heavy-handed accents (see Jannice’s review above). I just can’t get past the accents and gave up on the audio book. Oh, and bizarrely, a distracting musical background came in briefly and then disappeared.
Trust me: there are lots of talented English actors and actresses with fine voices—or, for that matter, other nationalities who can do good English and European accents. Find one!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • KG
  • 12-11-21

Not as good as the first two in the series.

I listened to and enjoyed the first two in this series through my local library. They don't stock the third one so I came to Audible. Unfortunately, there was a different narrator who I didn't care for. The accents were bad and there were times when the dialogues would blend so I wasn't sure who had spoken. The cadence was often awkward. This story wasn't as compelling as the other two but I wonder if the narration contributed to that perception.