George and Lennie are young adults who lead an itinerant lifestyle. Lennie has unspecified learning difficulties. George works as a DJ. He and Lennie have a dream of opening a shop selling vinyl records. They find lodgings in Hastings in a pub run by Billy Bell, who might be prone to suspect deals. He keeps two dogs in a cage outside the pub.
The novel poses two questions. Will these young men manage to open their shop? And will they become involved in any illicit activities under the influence of Billy?
The team running the pub under Billy’s direction is soon disrupted by arguments that lead to violence. In the end two murders are committed. This reviewer found that the violent conclusion of the book did not present young readers with anything but the bleakest view of how a cognitively challenged young man might be treated in testing circumstances.