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Will Henderson has lived a solitary life, working for the San Francisco Post Office for over twenty-five years. He rides around San Francisco on his rusty old-ten speed, listening to his Walkman, and lives alone with his little dog, Bingo, in a tiny one-room studio apartment south of Market. Will is very, very shy and rarely even talks to anyone, except Bingo.
On his mail route he very rarely even acknowledges any of his customers, except the obligatory “Hi” when called upon. However there is one old lady who Will has become quite close to in a mother/son type of way. Emily Everington is everything that Will wished his mother had been, that is if he had known his mother. But even before his parents were killed in an automobile accident, they were emotionally detached from him. His mother, being a very strict Catholic did do one thing though, she instilled plenty of guilt and strict moral codes, into her son. So strict in fact that Will has no friends, or fun in his life. His only “fun” is his job, a job he absolutely loves. His only friends being Bingo, and Mrs. Everington.
Mrs. Everington is a very wealthy lady, and enjoys being with Will. They go to baseball games together, and just sit and talk sometimes. Mrs. Everington would sometimes have Will do different little chores for her that she wasn’t able to do anymore. And Will enjoyed doing them for her.
There is one postal worker in the office that Will does have his eye on, Roxie LaRue. A fifty-some bleached blonde Dolly Parton look-alike. Roxie has a garbage mouth that would make a longshoreman blush, but there is something about her that just makes Will melt every time he comes in contact with her, if only to look. Roxie and Will both led similar lives, in that they both grew up without family support and emotional contact. Roxie having survived living from one foster home to the next, while growing up.
Roxie had been transferred to the same postal station where Will works because she had a problem. She was constantly jumping from bed to bed, with any man that she came in contact with, including her working cohorts. But Will is smitten, although he knows it will go nowhere.
On a very hot day in July, Will is delivering his mail as usual, when he comes to Mrs. Everington’s home. As Will is about to deliver her mail, Mrs. Everington gives him an envelope to post. One that seems very important to her. She seems afraid, and tells Will that someone is out to kill her. Will passed this off as one of the old lady’s delusions, however the thought doesn’t completely leave his mind.
That next day Will wakes to the news that Mrs. Everington is dead. The news reports say that she jumped off the Golden Gate bridge, however Will knows that this is not possible. Soon after the reports of Mrs. Everington's death, Will receives a phone call from an attorney, Stephan Martinelli. Mr. Martinelli tells Will that he has become the sole beneficiary in Mrs. Everington’s will. She has left him fifteen million dollars! Will doesn’t quite know how to handle this, or why she would leave him her entire estate.
When Will returns to home after seeing the attorney, he finds Roxie on his doorstep. She tells him that she had just come by to see how he was, and then one thing leads to another and they find themselves in bed together. When Will announces his new “friendship” at work the guys tease him, telling him that what Will has found, most of the males in San Francisco have already found with Roxie. But that doesn’t stop Will from going out with Roxie again, and after a night of drinking, which Will has never done, and going to bars, again which Will has never done, Will finds himself getting married to Roxie the next day.
Before he knows it Will is mixed up in murder, seduction, betrayal and a life that he never would have even dreamed of becoming a part of, much less a player in before.
POSTMORTEM is an exciting story of good versus evil, and what can happen to an innocent, shy, and very naive person who never ventured from the sheltered existence he has built up around him. A story of a man who gets pulled into a life he has no control over, nor wants any part of. Where even the “good guys” are out to get him.
Ms. Bailey has written a very good story, however the conversations did get rather confusing at times, especially in the beginning. But the story is strong, and it does keep your attention throughout the book. The characters are multifaceted and the scenery is very real, if you know anything about San Francisco at all, all will ring very true. There are some very poignant scenes, and the ending is very, very surprising.
I do think you would like POSTMORTEM and do recommend it to you as a good read.
Reviewed by Sue Hartigan, January 2003
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