The first novel by Jonathan Lethem (author of the award-winning Motherless Brooklyn) is a science-fiction mystery, a dark and funny post-modern romp serving further evidence that Lethem is the distinctive voice of a new generation. Conrad Metcalf has problems. He has a monkey on his back, a rabbit in his waiting room, and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. (Maybe evolution therapy is not such a good idea). He's been shadowing Celeste, the wife of an Oakland urologist. Maybe falling in love with her a little at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, Metcalf finds himself caught in a crossfire between the boys from the Inquisitor's Office and gangsters who operate out of the back room of the Fickle Muse.