Wednesday 16 June 2010

My Dad Reviews...The Last Temptation - Val McDermid

Embarrassingly, I was caught singing in the park this morning. I was over for a walk at 7am, ipod on, The Cramps' HUMAN FLY making my ears feel joyous. So I started to sing in my best Lux Interior voice: 'Well I'm a human fly, It's spelt F-L-Y, And I say buzz, buzz, buzz, and it's just because. I'm a human fly and I don't know why, I got ninety six tears in my ninety six eyes.' And then I couldn't resist, I started to do the chicken strut psychobilly style. And then I rounded a big hedge. And came face to face with two elderly gents out walking their dogs.

Anyway, on to the review. My Dad is on a real Val McDermid kick at the moment - watch out Caro Ramsay, your position as my Dad's favourite Scottish author may have been usurped. First of all, the usual reminder of his tastes:

DISLIKES: romance, books that have too much swearing in - I heard a lot of harrumphing when he was reading OLD DOGS. Also doesn't like horror, and books with vampires, pterodactyls and the living dead in them. Also, something called an ungoliant. No, I have no idea either - I think my Dad has been at the sherry.

: thrillers, spy novels, war stories and books with elves in (the elves can swear their little heads off as far as he's concerned). Oh, and maps. He bloody loves maps. If you ever meet him, for goodness' sake don't ask him for directions. Not even to the bathroom.

Publisher: St Martins
Published: 2003
First Lines: '
Blue is one colour the Danube never manages. Slate-grey, muddy brown, dirty rust, sweat-stained khaki; all of those and most of the intermediate shades sabotage the dreams of any romantic who stands on her banks.'

As you can see, most of the action takes place in Germany. The book has two threads involving Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan.Carol is working undercover, and enlists the aid of Tony to give her support. However he gets embroiled in profiling for a German police woman and her Dutch colleague the murderer of a number of psychiatrists.

The case involving Carol is to gather evidence on a German trafficker of people, drugs, and anything he thinks will make him a profit. This is a story that I enjoyed reading, it is rather involved and you will be pleased to hear that Tony and Carol almost manage to get rid of their frustrations.

The characters of Petra, the German girl, and Marijka, the Dutch girl are very well described and likeable. The criminals are scary and once again very well written. The story was well told in a logical fashion and very enjoyable. The descriptions of the places were in keeping with what I remember of Cologne, the only Large city that I visited when in Germany (apart from Hanover that is, and travelling through Hamburg).

There you go - don't say that you don't get good value from my Dad's reviews - not only crime fiction but tales of my Dad's travels too (I did warn you not to let him anywhere near a map, didn't I? It should further be noted that the only German my Dad speaks is 'Zwei Bier bitte."


  1. I can also say Noch ein bier bitte. What better words to use.

  2. Great review! I liked the bit of travelogue tucked in there :) I haven't read McDermid for quite a while - this series definitely looks interesting.

  3. Dad - du bist ein Dumkopf :o)

    Belle - thank you on behalf of my Dad :o)

  4. Nice review once more Donna's Dad...

  5. Thanks Craig - he'll be sitting all smug now :o)