The reluctant national coroner of Laos, Dr. Siri Paiboun, is no respecter of persons or Party; at the age of seventy-two he can afford to be independent. In this latest investigation, Dr. Siri, dubbed "Super Spirit Doc," travels from his home base to Luang Prabang where he communes with a deposed king, who is convinced he lost his kingdom because his special channel to the occult closed, and he attends a conference of shamans called by the Communist government to deliver an ultimatum to the spirits: obey Party orders or get out.
Something wild and evil has been let loose in the city of Vientiane and a series of mutilated corpses lands in Dr. Siri's morgue. With the assistance of his helpers -- Mr. Geung, a mentally challenged lab technician, and Nurse Dtui, whose nickname means "Fatty" -- Dr. Siri investigates these strange deaths. But it is only when Nurse Dtui is threatened that the prickly, independent doctor can identify the creature, animal or spirit that has been slaying the innocent.