Deborah Moggach's Final Demand
is a bleak, uncompromising novel about the greed and selfishness of Natalie, the novel's tough, street-wise heroine. Natalie, who works for "NuLine Communications", a soulless telecommunications company based in Leeds, is frustrated by the realisation that "the next big thing in her life should be happening but thought time was speeding up, the days whisking past, a breathlessness to them now, [her] life remained doggedly the same". She is pretty and intelligent, but when her boyfriend dumps her and she runs into financial problems, she sees the opportunity to turn her boring job processing cheques to her advantage. But first of all, her ingenious plan requires a husband with a very specific name...
Final Demand is very different from Moggach's enormously successful Tulip Fever, but it catches the amoral, cynical world of Natalie and all the characters that she proceeds to dupe in a series of ever bleaker situations. Natalie's crimes seem small, but Moggach attempts to unravel the ways in which even the most trivial crime can have devastating consequences. At times, the story loses focus as Moggach follows those affected by Natalie's misdemeanours, while her heroine is so thoroughly selfish that it become difficult to sympathise with her plight. However, Final Demand neatly captures the soulless sign of the times. --Jerry Brotton
'Moggach's delight in spinning her story, and in the minor characters she invents, is infectious'. -- The Mail on Sunday
Moggach combines the vigorous simplicity of her plot with an artists alert and subtle eye for the small detail...Moggachs writing is luminous. -- Sunday Telegraph
Sumptuous and enthralling...a passionate precision, a delight in the sensual that is reminiscent of Michèle Roberts... evoked with compassion, wit and humour -- The Times
The undercurrents that wash through the book tackle complex themes ... and give it the depth and richness that Ms Moggachs fans have come to expect -- Daily Mail