Beautiful, bright and ambitious, she's stuck in a dead-end job in the accounts department of Nu-Line Telecommunications, living her life through wild weekends and yearning for something more.
When she sees a chance to change her life, she takes it.After all, it's only a minor crime.Nobody's going to get hurt.
Natalie is a girl who should be going somewhere. Beautiful, bright and ambitious, she's stuck in a dead end job in the accounts department of Nu-Line Telecommunications. Living her life through wild weekends, yearning for something more. When she sees a chance to change her life, she takes it. After all, its' only a minor crime. Nobody will be hurt, will they? But Colin gets hurt. He's the man who Natalie marries. And other people's lives are changed, terribly and irrevocably. Because Natalie's actions do have consequences - tragic consequences. Poignant and beautifully written, Deborah Moggach's new novel is a cautionary tale about the terrible battle between desires and greed, about human hopes and our own frailty in the face of temptation.
Natalie is a girl who should be going somewhere. Beautiful, bright and ambitious, she's stuck in a dead-end job in the accounts department of Nu-Line Telecommunications, living her life through wild weekends and yearning for something more. When she sees a chance to change her life, she takes it.After all, it's only a minor crime.Nobody's going to get hurt. But other people do get hurt, because Natalie's actions do have consequences - tragic consequences. Poignant and beautifully written, Final Demand is a cautionary tale about the battle between greed and love, about human hopes and our own frailty in the face of temptation. 'Hugely entertaining.immensely thought-provoking' Daily Express 'Thank God for Deborah Moggach. Final Demand is strong on narrative, dashing the reader along, but, though fast-paced and transparently written, nevertheless creates people of memorable complexity' Independent 'A neatly-crafted thriller. Engrossing' Scotland on Sunday 'A chilling, impeccably plotted novel' Cosmopolitan ' Powerful.vividly evoked' Sunday Times
Deborah Moggach is the author of many successful novels including Tulip Fever and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was made into a top-grossing film starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith. Her screenplays include the film of Pride and Prejudice, which was nominated for a BAFTA. She lives in Wales.
Moggach's delight in spinning her story, and in the minor characters she invents, is infectious Mail on Sunday Deborah Moggach can fit a complex idea onto a postage stamp... ordinary human crises are described tersely, compassionately, and with a wit as dry as the Sahara Independent Powerful.vividly evoked Sunday Times Hugely entertaining.immensely thought-provoking Daily Express An astonishing story of broken dreams, greed and human frailty.A tale of extraordinary power. Quite simply outstanding Daily Mail
A well executed, intricately plotted novel which nevertheless disappoints. Natalie is a bright, pretty young woman whose life is too ordinary and disappointing for her ambitions. She works in the accounts department of a large telecommunications company and lives with an unreliable boyfriend in an undesirable area of Leeds. She has no family to speak of: only a mother who appears occasionally and is more of a liability than support, and a father who disappeared when she was a child. So she must take care of herself. A swift and potentially devastating series of events leads Natalie to a position of reckless defiance and she embarks on a career of crime with unforeseen tragic consequences for the innocent lives her actions affect. Deborah Moggach is an experienced writer, good at cutting through cant and self-deceit and dissecting the complex tawdriness at the heart of modern life, but this novel is glib. The major characters, Natalie in particular, are hard to like and it becomes difficult to care about how the plot works itself out, or what happens to their sad, shattered lives (Kirkus UK)
An astonishing story of broken dreams, greed and human frailty.A tale of extraordinary power. Quite simply outstanding
Praise forTulip Fever: "Sumptuous and enthralling... her characters are thoroughly known and their contortions in the cage of materialism are evoked with compassion, wit and humour." The Times "Deborah Moggach can fit a complex idea onto a postage stamp... ordinary human crises are described tersely, compassionately, and with a wit as dry as the Sahara." Independent
From the author of Tulip Fever comes a poignant novel of human frailty, temptation and tragedy.
Chapter One They blamed it on global warming. It''s a wake-up call, they said. It''s a sign of what''s to come. All that November it rained. Britain was flooded, great swathes of it. On the news, the quaint names of rivers became as familiar as those of the latest celebrities. Day after day gales blew, buffeting Natalie''s car when she drove to work, rocking it at traffic lights. Perhaps that had something to do with it, with her restlessness, with a feeling of Is this all there is? The future of the planet held no interest for her; she seldom read newspapers. The rain, however, affected her. It trapped her in the present tense, the clouds blocking any vista beyond, any possibilities. She was trapped at work, perspiring under the strip lights. Back home she felt unsettled yet torpid, sitting on the edge of the bath and then realizing, with a jolt, that an hour had passed. Something should be happening. The next big thing in her life should be happening but though time was speeding up, the days whisking past, a breathlessness to them now, Natalie''s life remained doggedly the same. She was thirty-two. When she paused to consider this, the accumulation of years startled her. She found it hard to apply thirty-two to herself. Until recently she had been carried heedlessly in the current but now she found herself stilled in the bathroom, gazing at the fogged-up mirror, thinking: what next? She rubbed herself dry whilst Kieran sat in the next room, channel-hopping. He should be a part of the what next? but when she went into the lounge there he sprawled, in a fug of smoke, and words failed her. They had lived together for three years. She adored him. She adored the way his finger traced her skin, under her dressing gown, with his eyes still fixed on the screen. She adored his fine profile, his mouth twitching as he smiled. His hair, pulled back in a ponytail, was tied with a band he had nicked from her bag. Words failed her because he seemed content, and until recently, so had she. This new desire to shunt things forward made her shy with him. It revealed her to be like the girls at work, like large plain Stacey who had the hots for Derek in Dispatch and who dreamed of marriage and babies, doodling his surname on her jotter, MRS STACEY WINDSOR . . . MRS S. WINDSOR . . . Natalie pitied this; the naked need seemed humiliating. And then the desire would grip her, so strongly it stopped her breath. She had no illusions about Kieran. He was a flirt. He sponged off her and stayed out late, supposedly with his mates. He worked when the mood took him, as a motorbike courier, roaring round Leeds on his Kawasaki 500 and chatting up receptionists. One day he might roar off and never return. She had a shameful desire to keep him to herself. He was like a deer, captured and kept in domesticity; one day he would grow restless and make a break for the wild. This was how she felt, those dark autumn weeks with their turbulent, un-British storms. It''s a warning, they said. The next thing should be happening. And it did, but not the thing she had imagined. It was a Saturday night, and they went down to the Club Danube in Chapel Street. O-Zone were playing. They were her favourite band and she had been a fan for years, long before their biggest hits (''Dog Days'', ''Give It To me''). She felt a proprietorial tenderness towards them, having had a one-night stand, back in 1995, with their lead singer Damon. Travelling down to London to hear them play, she had ended up in Room 316 of the Kensington Hilton (curling hospitality sandwiches, two lines of coke). When she had left, flushed and rumpled, in the small hours, Damon had given her a publicity photo with her name spelt ''Natlie'' but she didn''t mind. The guy might be dyslexic. So now they were dancing, jammed up front near the stage, and Natalie was trying to catch the singer''s eye whilst also watching Kieran, who was pressed up behind her friend Farida, his arms waving like hers and then dropping down around her shoulders when he shouted something in her ear and made her laugh. Natalie edged closer. ''I wouldn''t bother,'' she yelled. ''Farida''s getting married next month.'' ''Anyone I know?'' he asked. ''She hardly knows him herself. She''s only met him twice.'' ''You kidding?'' Farida nodded. Though Natalie was fond of her - they worked side by side - this arranged marriage revealed Farida as foreign, an Indian girl with her future an Indian one. Soon Natalie would lose her; Farida would step into the next room of her life and close the door. Maureen, too, who worked in the same office: she was leaving to have a baby and Sioban was moving to Scarborough to be near her boyfriend, a married security guard at the Seaspray Caravan Park. Natalie''s life felt flimsy, no foundation to it. Up on stage Damon''s eye passed over her without a flicker; it was as if she had never crept from his hotel room, her knickers damp with all those unborn songs. In January this very building was to be demolished for redevelopment. And when they stumbled out into the damp night, ears ringing from the music, she found that somebody had smashed the window of her car and stolen the radio. Kieran picked up a cassette. ''Seems they didn''t fancy your Best of Moby.'' He kicked the glass away. ''Should get an alarm fitted.'' ''Know how much they cost?'' ''Yeah, but-'' ''Why don''t you pay half then?'' ''Listen, babe, it''s your car.'' She glared at him. ''Oh, so you''ll be wanting to walk home then.'' This had happened before, several times. The neighbourhood where they lived had the highest crime rate in Leeds. Natalie, however, was still upset. She loved her car. It was a silver Honda Civic with sunroof and - before it was ripped out - quadrophonic sound system. Humans were not to be trusted - she had learnt this at an early age - but her car could be relied upon to remain where she had left it, awaiting her return like the most faithful of lovers. When she pressed her foot down, it surged in response. When she changed up to fifth, it sighed like somebody settling back in an armchair. She cared for it too - she, who had cared for little in her life - probing its interior with her dipstick, daintily wiping her fingers with a moistened towelette. Each day it released her from work, from the numbing repetition, swallowing the motorway under its wheels as she sped across the moors, the huddled sheep caught in the headlights as she swung left towards Leeds (South). And now it had been violated. On Monday morning, when she drove to work, Natalie seethed. The wind blew through the empty window, freezing her shoulder. What turned a human being into a criminal? The moment they smashed the glass? Or did they consider themselves a normal person who occasionally took advantage of other people''s stupidity or inattention? Driving to work, that fateful Monday morning, crime was on her mind. She parked and slammed the door shut, hearing the fragments of glass settle into the lining. Her insurance had expired. She had discovered this the night before, whilst rummaging through the unpaid bills wedged behind the toaster. She would have to find a garage and spend her precious Saturday getting it fixed. This nameless window-smasher, did he consider the time he had stolen from her life, apart from the money? And her O-Zone compilation tape was missing. So it was hardly surprising that Natalie was in a mutinous mood that morning. It was a dank, foggy day. NuLine Telecommunications, where she worked, was a large office building stuck in the middle of an industrial estate, out on the moors, miles from anywhere. Around it loomed warehouses, Midas Wholesale, K.M.M. Refrigerated Meats. Today they were shrouded in mist. There seemed no reason for the existence of these buildings in this particular place; like Farida''s arranged marriage, it was just a matter of chance. ''This way''s as good as any,'' she said. A random choice, a pin on the map. Accounts was open-plan. Natalie sat down at her desk. They were mostly women who worked there; they were blurs to each other through the frosted partitions. These were stuck with holiday postcards - beaches at dawn, Seattle at sunset, anywhere but here - and blurred Polaroids of Salsa Nite at Club X-Press. Photos of boyfriends and fianc
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