Let me start out by saying that Samuel is a narcissist, a megalomaniac, an ephebophile and an all-round jerk. He likes to control the people around him and his environment, especially the women.
His wife, Catherine, dances to his tune, despite the fact it is to her own detriment. She lies to herself about the reasons for her complacency. She is the real reason for his success. Without Catherine the world will discover the fraud of his apparent genius.
He does rattle on about what a genius he is, almost to the point of bringing tears to my eyes. I admit I would find it hard to put up with such an elitist attitude, and I certainly wouldn’t bow or cow to it.
The question is whether he really is one, because technically he seems incapable of creating his designs in a visual or written manner. He relies on Catherine to interpret his visions.
He controls her, he controls his mistress and in the end he is still trying to control both of them and his second wife from the grave. All in an attempt to keep up the pretence.
This story is more an analysis of Samuel’s character, his manipulations and how the people around him react to his power games. The plot does involve a murder or two, but in essence it is all about a power hungry ego driven man still trying to drive the car from within his coffin.