Amy, Nick writes, “thinks she’s in control, but she’s very wrong.” Boney, Go, and Nick are all working together despite the cops and the FBI having lost interest in Amy’s case; they all meet at a pancake house to have breakfast and discuss what they know. Boney has apologized to Nick for suspecting him, and expresses her frustration at being unable to prove that Amy framed Nick and murdered Desi. The word, though has come down from “on high”—Boney needs to shut the case down. Nick laments that Amy “studies,” and knows police procedure “cold”—they won’t be able to get a taped confession out of her, or any solid evidence. Amy will only talk to Nick about the truth in the shower—and even then, she whispers in his ear, and would easily avoid any bug the cops could place.
Nick and Amy’s rapidly-alternating perspectives in the book’s closing pages speaks more largely to the theme of marriage: how two people sharing the same home and the same name can never really know one another. While Amy plots ways to sink her teeth into Nick even more, he plans to escape her—or bring her down—behind her back. Neither is aware of the other’s devious intentions, and both are certain they’ll win in the end.
Boney remains convinced that at some point, Amy will crack. Go suggests looking through Amy’s diary with a fine-toothed comb, but Boney knows Amy has covered her tracks too well. Go thinks maybe Jacqueline Collings, Tommy O’Hara, or Hilary Handy could help expose Amy—but Boney knows that the public loves Amy too much to believe the words of people she’s slandered. Boney tells Nick that their only chance of showing everyone the real Amy is if she tells him something “useful.”
Boney and Go—women Nick once felt were bringing him down—are now doing their best to lift him up, help him reveal the truth, and keep him from a fate of being tied to the monstrous Amy for the rest of his life.
Go, getting nervous, tells Nick he should move out—she doesn’t want him living with a murderer. Nick says that Amy will “never really let [him] go”—she likes “the game” too much. Go advises Nick to “stop playing” along. Privately, after leaving the diner, Nick admits that he can’t stop—he’s getting “so much better at it,” and wants to stay close until he has a chance to bring Amy down.
Even as Nick plots to sever himself from his wife forever, he admits that he loves playing her game—or at least wants to keep at it until he’s able to win.
Sometimes Nick finds himself letting his guard down and actually enjoying his time with Amy—they playact at love and intimacy, but Nick is waiting for the moment when the tables turn and he offends her, or hurts her feelings, or displeases her in some way. Amy seems to be able to sense Nick’s paranoia, and promises she’d never hurt him. Though they’ve taken to sharing the same bed again, Nick never actually sleeps—he can’t close his eyes next to Amy, and sleeping with her is like “sleeping with a spider.”
Amy is so good at wearing Nick down that he sometimes forgets the truth of their situation. This shows how dependent not just Nick, but all people are, on their partnerships and relationships—the drive for closeness and intimacy is so strong that it blots out even cruelty, deception, and mistrust.