The once retired Siri Paiboun - now national coroner, confused psychic and disheartened communist - decamps from the steamy capital and heads north to examine two badly charred bodies. Siri's a busy man, dining with the deposed king, attending a shamans' conference and being rescued by the ghost of an elephant.
Meanwhile, back at Vientiane headquarters, savaged corpses start to pile up. Could it be the missing bear from the circus, or is it a weretiger? Siri's trusty assistant Nurse Dtui goes snooping bug, unlike her boss, the spirits aren't looking out for her... And just what creature, if any, has thirty-three teeth?