Thursday, March 15, 2012

“When I Kill You”

By Michelle Wan
ISBN No. 978-1-55469-990-2

“When I Kill You” is basically one half of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train”, and while it’s got enough blackmail, suspense and intrigue to keep even my aunt reading, the one thing it’s missing is the thing I wanted to read most: what it’s like to work at the post office. Listen, I can believe the heroine of the story was an abused wife, that she stood to profit from the death of her husband, that one of his exes comes out of the woodwork with some incriminating cell phone footage, and, yes, that she even wrestles in mud (but not the Spa-grade kind - nice touch) on the weekends. But what I cannot believe, what I cannot accept, what I find practically science-fiction – especially in the current economy – is that she’d actually QUIT the post office. No one quits the post office – EVER. That twist in the story is perhaps its most daring, and highlights a larger irony of contemporary fiction: In movies, TV shows and novels, characters talk about dreams, big business and blackmail. In real life, people probably talk about movies, TV shows, novels – and getting on at the post office.