Ishmael Seaward's Reviews > The Last Temptation

The Last Temptation by Val McDermid
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's review
Jan 24, 2012

it was ok
Read in January, 2012

Okay read if you are slugabed with illness, bored with TV, and need something mildly stimulating. The story takes place in northern Europe. If you are a bit of an armchair traveler, this takes you on an abbreviated tour of some of northern Europe's waterways; it tempts the reader to dig out the Atlas and do some independent reading on the places mentioned.
It is two major plotlines that easily could be / should be two separate novels, doing better justice to both. Carol Jordan goes undercover to catch a human trafficker, and Tony Hill succumbs to the temptation of getting involved in another hunt for a serial killer.
The wrap-up is too coincidental for me, and there is an incident where both Tony and Carol make a joint mistake that puts them both in danger. That mistake seems seriously out of character for either one.
There are other things that bothered me. One is the lack of description of police procedures. This would have been a great vehicle to contrast how the police in different countries do their work. This was barely mentioned other than jurisdictional disputes exist. Another point is this is the third book of hers that I have read, and her police forces seem to have an extraordinary number of lesbians, as well as a gay policeman or two. The proportion seems to be well above the general population at large. I'm all for being inclusive, so can we have representatives from other cultures (Turks, Iranians, Moroccans, Albanians as something other than villains, etc.) that are populating Europe these days?
How about a series of murders of Iranian dissidents? Are these the result of Qud actions, or somebody local with an intense dislike of Iranians, or Muslims in general. That should get Tony's and Carol's professional attention.
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Martina Goernebrand Northen Europe? Who draw your map?

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