A Gruesome Conclusion
Even with Dr. Nicky somewhat out of the picture, Joe can sense that he's losing his hold on Beck. It all comes crashing down when she lets herself into his apartment one night before he gets home and finds the hole in his wall that's full of her stuff — including dirty underwear and a used tampon. Joe arrives to find her rightfully freaking the f*ck out and does the only rational thing he can think of: beats her over the head, drags her unconscious body downstairs, hails a cab, and locks her in the bookstore's cage.
He puts her through tests the same way he did Benji and finally decides that they need an experience to bond them, which is . . . reading The Da Vinci Code together. In Joe's eyes, reading the book gets them on the same emotional page, and Beck claims she forgives him. Then she beckons him into the cage, where they have sex and fall asleep. When Joe wakes up and goes to pee in the bathroom upstairs, however, Beck makes a break for it.
She nearly makes it out, but Joe has locked the front door of the store, and since it's 4 a.m., no one's around to hear her pounding on the glass. He drags her back behind the register so people won't be able to see them, where he proceeds to strangle her. He thinks he's killed her and starts to break down, but actually she was just faking it. She uses his distraction to try to run again, but he's able to kick her back to the floor and truly choke her to death this time. Using Mr. Mooney's car, he drives Beck's body to a patch of woods near Dr. Nicky's Summer home and buries her body there. Joe frames Dr. Nicky for her death, and he's found guilty. Goodbye, Beck.
The book ends with a woman coming into the bookstore a few days later to apply for a job there. She flirts with Joe and he's very much attracted to her, and it's abundantly, tragically clear that his twisted cycle of obsession is starting once more.