Threats by Amelia Gray is weird but compelling. The first page is ominous and one wants to read on to see what is up…. The title comes from threats that David keeps finding in curious places like the sugar bowl, silverware draw and in his dirty laundry. He has no idea of the origin of these threats. Nor do we.
It is a simple story with few characters albeit all total loons. Chico an odd detective, Shelly a character that spends her time in the laundromat folding clothes, Marie a pseudo psychiatrist that has an office in David ‘s garage of which he was not aware, it seems before Frannie’s departure arrangements were made with Marie for the “office space.” Aileen who was a wacky coworker of the presumed dead wife Frannie. A few other strangers drift in and out of the narrative. None of them very involved with the story but they appear mostly to make us aware of what a screwball David is-----however, he is nutty enough without being surrounded by loons.
David lost his wife under suspicious circumstances. Chico, the detective assigned to his case, seems to have been involved with the family many years ago before the death of Frannie. It would seem that David’s mother had killed his sister and was in an asylum but David only says that his mother left the family and moved to a home for women. It is speculative since nothing is made clear in Threats.
David was once a dentist and lost his license it is implied by filling a tiny baby’s tooth buds. He has kept all his old dental xrays and finds comfort in sleeping on them. We never know what happened to Frannie or much about her except she was tall and gangly.
Did I mention this is a bizarre story I wanted to finish the book to see how she wrapped it up---well she does not wrap things up and I am just as confused as to what happened as I was when I started reading. She is an engrossing writer with an active imagination.