In this novel Maxwell Grunor, or "Maniac Max" as he's referred to by his friends, has taken employment at Englewood's only cemetery, Brushwood Cemetery, where he mows the grass. He is twenty-one years old. Scarred by his violent, and some would say "cursed" upbringing, Max is still struggling with the monster that has haunted him since his earliest days. Meanwhile, Doctor Albert Porter, Max's psychiatrist, returns from the last book to continue treating Max and to help him cope with his feelings of resentment and isolation.
Also, another important influence, Doctor Benson Oliver, a goverment hired clairvoyant, is introduced to Max. Doctor Oliver invites Max to join in his Society Project, an organization who's memebers allegedly demonstrate abilities, including telekinesis and others, similar to Max's own.
Max is eventually torn between his compulsion to hide from his problems, including the Gruesome and himself, and his burgeoning desire to confront his fears and somehow lead the life he's always wanted -- so-called "normal life".
The Beast of Bushwood