Johnson's rootless hero has come to live in a nightmarish seaside town in winter. Though a good part of the nightmare is in his head, not all of it is. This is a place people run away to, and he has come to work here as a clueless private investigator. His investigation is also a quest for religious meaning in the world, and for redemption. Both of these he finds, in a way, as he finds his quarries. He also goes mad, but some of his delusions perhaps accord with reality, perhaps are even helpful. This is melodramatic material, but Johnson's tone is serious, funny and intelligent, and anarchic. He is also a very enjoyable writer, a grat discovery for me, and I shall read all his books.