Detective Lou Eisenfall likes to keep the peace in his wealthy Napa Valley town. He does not like problems, but now he has two of them. John Manis, aka Johnny Manic - charming, stylish, impulsive, and reckless - has just rolled into town with a flashy car and a success story that doesn't add up. Marilyn Dupree, passionate and volatile, wants out of her marriage to the town's richest man. Johnny and Marilyn have a chemistry like nitrogen and glycerine, and that makes Lou very uneasy.
Now someone is dead out on the highway and too many vultures are circling the mountain. "Poor Lou", Johnny observes. "There's a madman running around his town, and who knows what he'll do next."
Told from the perspective of a supremely unreliable narrator, Johnny Manic brings the classic crime fiction of Raymond Chandler into the modern day with overtones of Gone Girl and The Woman in the Window.