I had just finished reading Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller. This book would be completely different. Or so I thought. Until the ending, then it was a case of Déjà vu. Woman metes out revenge. Woman is empowered. And a moral question. Is vengeance to be applauded in a woman, where it would not be so in a man?
Dial M for Murder and the marriage of Tony and Margot. Hmm. Similar premise, husband Tony, funded by the wealth of his wife, Margot, wishes to dispose of Margot and divorce is not an option. Different means of achieving end. But in the intervening years, there has been a dramatic shift in the agency of women. Margot is the damsel in distress and needs to be rescued. But in the Last Lie, Claire, a woman of wealth is married to Alfie, who wishes to dispose of wife and keep her wealth. But Claire, unlike Margot, does not need to be rescued. She untangles Alfie’s evil and in return, plans to kill Alfie. It is the wicked husband who needs to be rescued.
The book is in two parts. Part 1: Alfie is in the ascendancy and it is a psychological thriller – will Claire escape, will Claire be saved. Part 2. Claire’s story. Claire rescues herself. No knight in shining armour required. All great stuff.
Or is it? In the end I was left wondering whether these two protagonists actually deserved each other. Both were self-absorbed, oblivious to the other, both see their spouse as a means to an end. Claire wins. Alfie is imprisoned. And again, moral questions left hanging, as empowerment is handed to the female.