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Final Demand by Deborah Moggach
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Final Demand

by Deborah Moggach

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796216,127 (3.38)7

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When it is explained to Natalie how easy it is to alter the payee on a cheque made payable to, for example, the company in whose accounts department she works (NT), she seeks to marry a man whose last name begins with T. She will then add her last name to the payee line and cash the cheque. This part of the story, while seeming ridiculous, was very entertaining.

Natalie believes by an additional accounting step, she has made her theft a "victimless crime", but carelessness has consequences in the lives of others. The chapters from David and Sheila's point of view were sad, but became rather too much of the narrative; I found the novel stronger when we were inside Natalie's head. The point about there always being consequences was I suppose the "meaning" behind the story, although this was weakened by the fact that Natalie could so easily have avoided her careless mistake.

An interesting read, but it did leave me wondering if it had really been worth my time - I will, however, always be sure to write out the payee in full on my cheques. ( )
  pgchuis | Oct 27, 2017 |
Interesting novel about a young woman who figures out how to embezzle from her position in a large telecommunications company. Can there ever be such a thing as a victimless crime? ( )
  laurenbufferd | Jul 2, 2017 |
I didn't much like the beginning of this book as it felt a little predictable. Fortunately I gave it a chance and was pleasantly surprised at what happened. Although the author didn't reveal he main character's thoughts and feelings much, I think this helped to emphasise her selfishness. ( )
  Carolinejyoung | May 20, 2012 |
This is complete and utter rubbish. Well, the 44 pages I read before invoking Nancy Pearl's Rule were rubbish anyway. Maybe it improves, but life is too short for me to find out.
Moggach has written a story which to me is not only unbelievable in general, but her main character, Natalie,is an insult to women, if not humanity. This passage is typical:
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"...The man took her credit card and swiped it through his machine. 'Oh oh,' he said, 'who's been a bad girl then?'
'What?'
'Won't take it. You've exceeded your limit.'
She paused. 'Can I pay by instalments?'
He passed her the card.'Only if I can look at your tits.'
Natalie's head swam. I'm drunk.
'Let's take a look at those boobies.' He moved to the door. It was one of those up-an-over ones. Grasping the lever he started to slide it down.
'Don't close it,' she said. 'There's nobody around.'
It was freezing. Her fingers fumbled as she unbuttoned her coat. It seemed to take ages. She pulled up her sweater and T-shirt; then she pushed up her bra around her throat.
A moment passed. 'They do you proud,' he said, and turned away.
The concrete floor was stained, as if an ox had been slaughtered there. His face averted, the man blew his nose.
She readjusted her clothing and wrote him a cheque for the first instalment. He opened the car door for her...."

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Natalie's emotions and thoughts are not discussed at all - as though she doesn't have any. If an automotive mechanic asked my daughter if he could see her tits, I expect he would end up on the wrong end of a large heavy spanner, if not the law. What world is Moggach living in? It's certainly foreign to me, and, what's more, I don't want to waste my few remaining days reading about it. ( )
  oldblack | Jan 19, 2010 |
Natalie works for a large telecommunications company in Leeds. When her boyfriend dumps her she runs into financial problems and then sees an opportunity to process company cheques to her advantage. At first the crime seems small but other people get hurt and there are tragic consequences.

This was a quick read due to its page turning appeal. The premise was a believable one and the main character is a nasty piece of work. ( )
2 vote jeniwren | Dec 18, 2008 |
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"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, it's 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 for Chloe and her parents."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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