While the performance and world building are good, the exuberant sexism finally wore me down. When our protagonist, the ghost of a car thief, asserts..Show More » that prostitution will always be *necessary* "as long as women withhold sex" and the ghost of a nun who ran a shelter for battered sex-workers for 30 years, agrees with his analysis of *the* cause of prostitution, I ground my teeth, sighed and deleted the book.
It's one thing for our ignorant, young former car thief to hold, well, ignorant opinions. And he does. Hold many. However, often those same opinions are challenged by the behaviors or conversations of characters whom we respect and our young car thief thinks again. The crude sexist opinions he spouts about women, relationships with women, what women are good for, etc. seem to be impervious to other information. The lecture about prostitution was simply the last straw.
Martin, the forensic pathologist, has lost his old boss who has had a heart attack. The new boss who is not at all the same as the old boss, is not a..Show More » medical expert but a penny pinching, time clock watching bean counter, who in an effort to maximize the profitability of the Institute has started renting morgue drawers to funeral homes which have been stretched beyond their resources by a heat wave in Cologne. Then a body is stolen and things start to go seriously, weirdly wrong.
Meanwhile Martin is apartment shopping and trying to find some way to cope with the chatty ghost of young ghost of a car thief who has been his (nearly) constant companion for the past six months.
The story is told from the ghost's point of view in first person. The narrator is excellent. While some plot points are a bit obvious, I still enjoyed the ride.
The first three are great, but this...not so much.
I LOVED the first three books of this series. Okay...maybe I LOVED the first two, & really, really liked the third. This one? Meh. It was phoned in. I..Show More »f you've already read the other three, this is worth it if you get it on a CHEAP sale (do NOT use a credit for this book!), just to finish out the series & because there are some fun moments. But, Profijt is getting close to jumping the shark w/this book. Kids floating around & watching their smashed up bodies in drug-induced comas while their parents show their true selves - including some not giving a crap about their kids (NOT a spoiler - this is at the very beginning)? Yeah - that's just the very start. The characters we've come to love (Martin?!) are on the periphery in this book, and there's a lot of 'splainin' going on. As in the last 45 min. Yep. The plot is so convoluted & weak that Profijt actually has the characters sit around for three-quarters of an hour explaining to each other how it all added up. Ummmmm...Novel Writing 101 is "show, don't tell". In the first three books the author seems to know this, but perhaps she, too, was in a drug-induced coma while her neurons caused the computer to write this yawner? That would be the only acceptable excuse. I got to the last ten minutes & had to FORCE myself to listen! "Yeah, yeah..finish up already...whatever."
As to the narrator - part of me wants to give him a 5 because he makes the main character so...alive (ahem)...but then part of me wants to give him a -5 because it's a book based in GERMANY, yet he has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how to pronounce any German words! I'm not talking about rolling Rs & the special "ch" sound. German has a few very simple rules of pronunciation, & they never stray. "Ei" is always pronounced "I", "ie" is always pronounced "e", & an "e" on the end of a word is pronounced how English-speakers pronounce an "a" at the end of a word; "uh". "KAY-trin"???? If spelled "Katrin", it's pronounced "Kah-trin". If spelled "Katrine", it's pronounced like English "Katrina". Yeah, roll the "r" if you must, but any German-speaker will be fine w/just plain "Kuh-treen-uh". I just can't understand it when a narrator knows he's reading a book based in a non-English-speaking country, yet doesn't bother to learn how to pronounce the words he must give voice to.
I repeat: if on sale ($2.95 or so) AND you've read the other three in the series, buy it. Do not, however, use/waste a credit on this "story"!