On the day pretty Prudence Deerfield walked into his office he happened to be Skylight Howells. But he could just as easily have been Scarface, or The Average Guy, or even Lulu if he’d been in a cross-dressing mood. Nor would that have run the gamut of his disguises. His real identity—if —real— is a word with any application to someone so ephemeral—is Brian Dobson, and as Dobson he practices a weird brand of private investigation in Eugene, Oregon. Not that weird dismays Prudence for a minute. She needs weird, she tells Brian, to help find her twin brother, Pablo, who has disappeared somewhere in the Never-Never Land of Virtual Reality. Pablo, in fear for his life, vanished after the murder of Gerald Moffitt, his partner in GP Ink, a company that produces computer manuals. It soon becomes evident that somebody has it in for subpar documentalists—that is, for the ham-fisted scribes who so garble the honorable language of the how-to that their manuals drive honest, hard-working computer geeks to the brink of insanity. Though not without sympathy for the aims of this documentalist serial killer, Brian (or Skylight or . . . whatever) realizes that a halt must be called, while acknowledging that he might be the best man for the job—or that he would be if his 12-step program could ever control the subversive nature of his powerful addiction to tap-dancing. (Yes, tap- dancing.) Though newcomer Vukcevich does have storytelling skills, this one’s for computer savants only—and may be too bizarro for many of them.