Dr Siri Paiboun may be in his seventy-third year, but he's still as sturdy as a jungle boar - and as crafty as one. Reluctant coroner to the Lao People's Democratic Republic, he's been despatched to the country's mountainous north where the sudden appearance of a mummified arm protruding from a concrete path laid in front of the President's new mansion has caused an understandable degree of embarrassment. Dr Siri's disinterment and autopsy of the body attached to the arm provide some grisly surprises but it is his gifts as a shaman that put the septuagenarian doctor on the trail of the killer. As Siri and his team close in, they must tackle a marriage proposal, brave the perils of the life on the open road, and come face-to-face with a horrific sacrificial ritual. Is it any wonder Dr Siri takes up disco dancing?