The beginning of Shroud finds us in similar territory as his other books: the unreliable narrator who tells us he is a liar; chewy, vivid language (as ever, I am impressed by his prose style); moving back and forth in the story's timeline. And common concerns recur: the problems of memory, of consciousness, of what constitutes the real. Similar images appear throughout the books; for example, there is often a body of water (or a sky) the color of lead, and there's the recurring idea of the real self struggling to get out, to spread its "sticky wings" as one novel has it, or as in Shroud, from p.27:
...what made me flinch, surely, was an over-consciousness of self, the sudden, ghastly awareness of being trapped inside this armature of flesh and bone like a pupa wedged in the hardened-over mastic of its cocoon. Immediately, again, came the demand: What self? What sticky imago did I imagine was within me, do I imagine is within me, even still, aching to burst forth and spread its gorgeous, eyed wings?