The saga which inspired one of the most talked-about TV shows of all time appears to have come to its’ conclusion – and I don’t know whether to be disappointed or thankful.
It’s impossible to not compare the written story with that of ‘Killing Eve’, and I must say, for the most part, the books have an infinitely better plot. The sexual tension between Eve and Villanelle (or Oxana) doesn’t feel forced here, nor does it seem to be truly ridiculous. It’s also a much more coherent story, even if it manages to feel both drawn out and rushed.
For, even by the ending, we still don’t know who the Twelve are. We know that they’re extremely powerful and are successful in their mission to bump off the Russian and American Presidents, however who they are remains unknown. They seem to continue existing after the books, which, as it came plainly obvious, didn’t even try to understand them.
The relentless use of rhetorical questions in the final chapter is frustrating, not least because most of them really should have been answered. The romantic focus between the two female characters, and Lara Formayants (later Charlie), also drags it down somewhat. Not a lot happens in this book, but when it does, it tends to be followed by either wistful dreaming of Saint Petersburg rivers, or another sex scene. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of benefits and uses for sex scenes, and mercifully, he doesn’t list the sexual acts in formulaic detail like James Patterson, but there are just too many of them.
There are flashes of drama and nods to the TV show which make it worthwhile. Dasha here is a crime boss, with a girlfriend called Kristina who it’s impossible not to like. The scene where The Twelve’s agents, led by Eve’s former MI6 boss, arrive and shootout with Dasha, Oxana and Eve are very good. The writing is great throughout, although the execution of plot points can be somewhat messy. I do appreciate Eve and Oxana’s character developments throughout ‘Die For Me’, most notably their increased efforts to understand both each other and themselves.
I don’t truly see the need to string this out into a third book. There are so many good characters in the world that Luke Jennings has created, that a spin-off would be no bad thing. However, the story is so slow, and its repetitive nature, suggest to me that the original of this franchise has turned into an accompaniment to the TV show it birthed. It is undoubtedly the weakest instalment in this series, and I’m somewhat happy to be able to leave the characters of Eve and Villanelle in the past. I just wish the TV show would do the same thing.
Ryan’s Rating: 5/10