Harper, Feb 23 2010, $10.00
Eric Bear has come a long way from when he used drugs, gambled and was a runner for mob chieftain Nicholas Dove. Now Eric is married to a wonderful woman Emma Rabbit though he still hears rumors about his cronies from the old days.
Dove hears some of the same rumors including one that he is on the portentous Death List of those who will soon vanish. He visits his former employer to offer a deal. If Eric gets his name removed from the ominous Death List, his stuffed thugs will not rip apart Emma. Erick knows he cannot perform this quest alone; so he enlists his former gang teammates Tom-Tom Crow, Sam Gazelle and Snake Marek, who like him are reformed former felons. The quest to find the top secret foreboding Death List and its even more clandestine author begins.
Amberville is an enjoyable parable that uses stuffed animals to tell a combination mob gang good and evil fable. The story line is at its fast-paced most exhilarating during the gang sequences. The plot slows down at times when the tale turns into a dissertation on the nature of evil; though ironically that segues is the more fascinating subplot. Readers who prefer something wildly different will want to peruse Tim Davys' intriguing allegory.