A blazingly original, electrifying mystery of love and loss from the haunted imagination of Amelia Gray.
In the dead of winter, David, a retired dentist in an unnamed town in Ohio, is pretty sure his wife, Franny, is dead. But he can’t quite figure out what killed her or why she had to die. Disoriented by grief, David struggles to unravel these mysteries - which become increasingly baffling when he starts finding a series of elaborate and escalating threats hidden around his home: "I will gather your oldest friends at my home and we will have a conversation." "You will hear us talking but when you come into the room we will stop talking."
Who left these notes? Was someone out to get Franny? Are they coming for him?
Unfortunately for David, Detective Chico is also on the case and is intent on asking him questions that he doesn’t know the answers to and introducing him to people - including a therapist who is practicing dream analysis in David’s garage without his knowledge or consent - who don’t appear to have David’s best interests in mind. With no one to trust, David is forced to rely on his own memories and faculties, but they, too, are proving unreliable.
Full of psychological twists and turns, Threats beautifully balances moments of utter bewilderment and perfect clarity. Amelia Gray builds a world that is eerie yet familiar, violent yet tender. With ability and precision far beyond her years, Gray grabs you on the first page and never loosens her grip.
Amelia Gray grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and received her MFA from Texas State University. Her first collection of stories, AM/PM, was published in 2009. Her second collection, Museum of the Weird, was selected for the Ronald Sukenick American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize in 2010. She lives in Los Angeles. Threats is her first novel.
Praise for the works of Amelia Gray: “Arresting…Powerful…Brave.” (New York Times Book Review)
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I'm glad it was short. Threats features some of the best writing I've come across in a while. However, the story itself was lacking. Great atmosphere, creepy characters, chilling setup, building tension, and then... poof. It suddenly ended. Readers smarter than I probably appreciated it for that very fact, but I prefer a little more payoff in the books I choose to read. Luckily it was short, and I don't really feel I wasted 7 hours of my life. I will keep thinking on this one and maybe revisit it down the road.
My first Amelia Gray book. I will probably investigate some of her short stories down the road, just for curiosity's sake.
Don't think I've heard Hillary Huber before, but she did a great job with this one. Her forced, dry tone added to the atmosphere of the novel in a meaningful way.
Sure, I kept hoping it was going somewhere.
Don't buy this unless you're fan of experimental fiction.
- Watery M
A Confusing Mish Mash that Goes Nowhere Fast
A viable plot with a resolution that didn't devolve into insanity.
Sadly, the premise seemed promising but the execution was lacking. Gray managed to convey the sense of confusion and madness of the protagonist but with no clear outcome, leaving the reader dissatisfied and wanting so much more.