From the get-go, it's clear that something strange is afoot in Munson, the fictional Florida hamlet where Stacey Levine's new novel, Frances Johnson, takes place. A volcano seethes on the outskirts of town, strange animals skitter in the shadows, and a dense brown fog has settled overhead. Pets and people vanish. Unfurling over a period of days leading up to the town's annual dance, the story follows 38-year-old Frances's mounting restlessness, as she must decide whether to take control of her life or cede it to the murky future the community has designated for her. Though the novel hinges on a familiar plot point will Frances remain in Munson, or escape to the world at large? it's the only trace of convention to be found in this hypnotic book, which transforms its setting into a tableau of exotic menace.