The Postbox Murders, by Edmund Glasby

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Edmund Glasby, and Endeavour Press Ltd. for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

Glasby presents readers with a very interesting premise in this short story/novella. Someone is murdering locals in small-town England and stuffing their bodies into postboxes, as the title suggests. Where things become interesting lies in the momentum these killings, which do not take place at the same box or even in the same town. The authorities are baffled, especially Detective Chief Inspector James Holbrooke, who cannot define a motive or anything rational. Onto the scene comes Richard Montrose, a horologist by profession, but also a man who has a deep obsession with crime, particularly murder. Montrose pretends to be a journalist, seeking answers to the murders as he goes to each town and the crime scenes. By interviewing the locals and eventually attending the funerals, Montrose is trying to put a face to the Postbox Killer. As the townspeople become more vigilant, Holbrooke may finally have a lead. As the authorities descend, Montrose’s name is also being bandied about and the date for another killing is fast at hand. Glasby sends readers into a spiral as they grasp to understand who the killer might be as well as a sensible motive.

This is my first time reading Glasby and I was impressed with what he had to offer. I will admit I did feel the story lacked the depth that it could have had, but as a short piece of writing, it was succinct in all the right places. I could see where an author could have expanded and drawn things out over 300-400 pages, crafting the murderer in anonymous narrative while also exploring more of Holbrooke’s struggles and Montrose’s intricacies. That said, it had a wonderful feel to it and paced itself nicely. The reader is left feeling Montrose is a little off, Holbrooke cannot utilise the power behind the police, and there is someone out there killing strangers for no apparent reason. Thoroughly enjoyable and well worth the invested time.

Kudos, Mr. Glasby for this wonderful short story. I hope you have more out there, both short and full-length writing, for I am curious to see what directions you take you other work.