This manages, without the deliberation or the finesse of a say, Shirley Jackson, to convey a hucksterish message of menace, in a persuasive if not conclusive pop horror novel. There's Teddy, five-year-old ""maker of the code"" who has discovered the ""key to the way the neighborhood"" in his hometown of Timonium worked. He has effected a system of behavior patterns according to the movements of the people and, as self-appointed guardian, he notices one desperate deviate, young Mrs. Ethel Price, who, he knows, hates her child. Then there is the CR (Clandestine Radio Operator) who broadcasts illicit, disturbing messages from his car and his disciple, Jay, teenage motorcyclist who has followed him from town to town (never meeting him) but who finds that his message is ""that the world is a terrifically interesting place. He gives it maximum unpredictability and flexibility."" But there's his girl Jessie, who hates the CR. Jessie is an ultimate Symbol of the bored and lost, taking refuge in her harmless games. Teddy's sister meanwhile, twelve-year-old Cathy, entering adolescence, entering disillusionment, knows that Teddy knows. The CR, finally voicing his hate and rage, the confrontation between Mrs. Price and Jay and the climax are shattering in this year of blunted sensibilities. Difficult to accept. Harder to put down. A talented new voice speaking (perhaps) to the hard core of the young alienated.