This is the third book in the series featuring Pasha, the spirit who hangs out at the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Cologne. He can only communicate with one living being, the coroner Martin Gänsewein. Poor Martin isn't very happy about the voice he hears inside his head, Martin being a principled, clean-living, nerdy vegetarian and Pasha being an unprincipled, foul-mouthed ex-car thief. But despite their total incompatibility, they make a great investigative team.
There's a new director at the institute who's obsessed with increasing efficiency and cutting costs. This is a timely theme nowadays when number crunchers are taking over the management of all sorts of businesses and services they know nothing about. The new director's income-generating policies are pretty funny, like deciding to rent out morgue drawers to funeral homes.
Under new management, alarming things start happening at the Institute. Bodies are kidnapped. Corpses are mutilated. A coroner is attacked. It falls to Pasha to figure out what's going on, since he can whoosh around wherever he pleases and spy on people unseen.
Meanwhile Pasha has fallen in love with the granddaughter of the new night watchman. To see the normally lecherous Pasha revel in "pure, radiant, incandescent love" is endlessly amusing. After all, it's not easy for an electromagnetic wave to court a flesh-and-blood woman in another dimension.
Pasha is full of surprises in this book. He's become very knowledgeable about autopsy procedures. And he's growing less selfish. He's beginning to see Martin as a friend, not just a useful connection to the realm of the living. Pasha might even be willing to put Martin's happiness before his own.
Pasha is the most original amateur detective I've encountered in recent memory. I just hope he won't mature too much. I'd hate to lose him to the White Light. I want more books.