Parents Bob and Julia Ebersol are unsettled by an envelope they receive which contains a photograph of their son at school. A week later, there arrives a package containing shoes which were assumed to have been lost. The subscription to terror continues when another envelope comes a few days later, this one containing a picture of the child sleeping in his bedroom. There is no return address and no explanation. Before the couple can garner the support of the police, the unthinkable happens: the boy disappears. His kidnappers demand an impossible sum, to be paid within twenty-four hours. They promise to send the boy’s parents more packages, of a much more grisly nature, if the ransom is not paid on time. These are the elements of Dead Letter Office, a plot-driven thriller which shocks the sensibilities of a genre by conveying the story in vivid, literary prose.