This is my first Bentley Little novel, but it certainly won’t be my last! A quick, smart, and surprisingly bleak horror tale about a small town under siege, The Mailman is one of the finer horror stories I’ve read lately.
The premise is a simple one: our main characters are Doug, a schoolteacher on summer vacation; his wife, Tritia; and their son, Billy. Peripheral characters are their friends and neighbors, but the focus is on this family — especially Doug . . . and, of course, the titular mailman, a newcomer to town.
This one was published in 1991, and certainly shows its age: characters actually receive letters from relatives (*gasp*!) and totally rely on landlines. Yeah, this one is dated, but that adds to the charm. And despite feeling very early ’90s, this story still has relevance today. Being a habitual online shopper, I check the mail religiously and have struck up a sort of friendship with my mail-woman. The mail is a big part of my life, so this novel’s magic really worked on me. Little makes something so mundane as mail delivery terrifying!
I enjoyed this one to pieces, and I cannot wait to read Little’s other novels. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a fun and exceptionally scary summer read.