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Amberville    by Tim Davys order for
by Tim Davys
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Eric Bear is a happy bear. He has a successful career at a prestigious advertising firm in Amberville, a wife he adores, a blissful home. But is it really what he thinks it is? His wife told him she is an orphan and that she maintains her pad in downtown Amberville to enable her do her painting uninterrupted. Fact or fiction?

Bear has an identical twin, Teddy. Teddy is the good twin while Eric has a checkered past, having spent some time working in the underworld with notorious crime boss Nicholas Dove. Dove re-enters Eric's life with the not so gentle request that Eric have Dove's name eliminated from the Death List. If he isn't successful, Eric's beloved's limbs will be torn from her body by Dove's henchmen, the gorillas.

Eric enlists the help of his old buddies: Tom-Tom Crow, male prostitute Sam Gazelle, and wily Snake Marek. The ensuing agonies involved in first finding the Death List and then erasing Dove's name move this story along quickly. By now, you have figured out that the characters involved are stuffed animals. A fact that is forgotten as the story line picks up. That they talk and think seems perfectly imaginable.

This is an allegory, meant to show, I think, that no matter the genre, life is not as it seems. And that if one doesn't run fast enough, one will be eaten by the wolf pack following. Amberville has been translated from the Swedish by Paul Norlen and foreign rights sold in numerous countries around the world. The author is working under a pen name so he, or she, is anonymous.

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