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VINE VOICEon 11 December 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed this book about poor Martin, who is minding his own business getting on with his job as a coroner, when suddenly the ghost of one of his "clients", Pasha, starts to talk to him. Martin is really not the type of man to go out solving crimes, especially when this involves visiting criminals and prostitutes, but he is the only person Pasha can communicate with. They form an unlikely partnership as they hunt down Pasha's killer. This book is a good read and is a different take on the usual detective fiction. The book appears to be the first in a series so it will be interesting to see how the storyline develops.
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VINE VOICEon 3 December 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The novel starts with Pasha, a small-time car thief in Cologne, stealing a car to order - soon after that he finds himself in the Morgue - in Drawer Four - to be precise - as in the title.

Martin is a doctor working for the coroner's office and he does the autopsy on Pasha.

Pasha finds he can communicate with Martin and the story goes on with this unlikely duo investigating the cause of Pasha's death. (The concept reminded me of a TV series from the 70s or 80s? called "Randall and Hopkirk Deceased"? who were a private investigation team and one of them was a ghost)

The story is told from the viewpoint of Pasha - first alive and then the ghost. It is a very different take on the forensic science novel.

There is a lot of wit and humour in this novel and the story was very interesting moving through the seedy parts of the city and the world of car smuggling - the ending came very suddenly and one was left wanting more. There are more novels by Jutta Profijt - I wonder if they are about Martin only or does Pasha appear again - will have to wait to see when they come out in translation.

The ONE thing I did NOT LIKE about the novel was the TRANSLATION - the original written in German has been translated and I am sure very well but the language is very AMERICAN English and I found it hard to picture a European city and its low life when the language evoked American situations with American slang - so for me it did not conjurer up the feeling of a novel set in Europe - however that is a personal view and the book with mixture of light hearted and serious is a good read.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Morgue Drawer Four reminded me a little of Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, the TV programme first broadcast on TV in 1969.

The story begins when Pascha, a likeable rogue who lives on the fringe of Cologne's underworld, gets himself ready for work. Pascha's `occupation' is stealing cars to order for a gang of international car smugglers.
Just before he hands the stolen car over, Pascha is shocked to discover the dead body of a young woman in the boot of the Mercedes SLR. Without mentioning the body, Pascha takes his money and decides to lie low for a time. Unfortunately for him, whilst descending a temporary set of stairs on a railway overpass, Pascha falls 6 metres to his death.

Pascha's death is deemed to be accidental by Martin, the prim and uptight Coroner for Cologne (he collects maps of cities) and the police are satisfied that no crime has been committed. However, the spirit of Pascha rises from Morgue Draw Four to confront poor Martin and demand that he investigates his `murder'. This is the start of the comical and sometimes menacing escapades in the quest to find the person who pushed Pascha to his death.

I read this book in two sittings, it's an easy and enjoyable read. However, two little niggles: I did find that halfway through the book the language became a little `wordy' and irrelevant - one sentence often turned into a short paragraph. Secondly, I would have liked the characters of Pascha and Martin to be fleshed out a little more. Perhaps this will happen in Ms Profijt's follow-ups entitled Morgue Drawer Next Door and Morgue Drawer to Rent.
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VINE VOICEon 28 December 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was very attracted to the idea of this book but my main feeling as I started to read was that it was written by two different people, one doing the character of Martin, the morgue pathologist, the other that of Pascha the victim and ghost. I liked Martin but I quickly tired of Pascha's laddish attitude and I didn't find his patter very funny. Whether this was the writing of the original author or the slant put on it by the translator I don't know but it didn't work for me. The interaction between the two characters was entertaining but I found the plot predictable and rather obvious.
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is translated from its original german and I think they've done a great job, I've read translated books in the past and they've been quite poor with the english language but this is done really well.

The story involves the relationship between a coroner and a 'spirit' of a recently dead where the spirit wants the coroners help to find out who killed him. Like I've said the story is a little bit slow with Pasha, the spirit, always going on about finding out who killed him. There are some points in the story where you get a little chuckle, the 2 characters of Pasha and the coroner Martin are chalk and cheese and have nothing in common but they have to learn to 'live' together.

Finding out who done it at the end is a little bit anti-climatic but as this is a short story (not too many pages) it didn't feel like I was having to wade through the book. There are obviously going to be other books and I would imagine with both Pasha and Martin being the main stars.
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on 12 June 2016
I really liked this book about Pascha, a car thief, who ends up dead and then during his 'after life' takes on the role of advisor to Martin, the coroner, who conducts his autopsy. His autopsy states that he died of a fall, but Pascha says otherwise - that he was pushed and, in other words, murdered. It's not the first story to do this - think "Ghost", which the novel even references, but it does do it in an original way. The thing I liked most about the book is Pascha's obsession with cars. The cars in the novel are the real stars, and Pascha's passion for them is something which is rendered vividly in the text.

I'm not a huge fan of crime thrillers, but I liked this story. It all comes together very nicely at the end as well. Probably won't read any more of these in the series, but as a one-off, I did enjoy this book.
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on 21 December 2011
I love this entertaining story, with the ' low-life hoodlum' haunting the slightly geeky but lovable pathologist. The translation is particularly fine. I can't imagine how the translator managed to make it sound so natural and comfortable since the slang and colloquialisms would not translate directly.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series though I'm hoping it will be longer.
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on 27 September 2012
I really enjoyed this book,it was a well written detective story but in addition the relationship between Pascha and Martin is often very funny and the characters are well drawn and believable (this despite the fact that Pascha is a ghost) I'd recommend it as a really good read.
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on 30 June 2014
This is a great book. While being a thriller it's also very amusing, in as much as the two main characters go. There is Martin the slightly "safe" ordinary and honest man and his young rather wild and seedy side kick, who incidently is a ghost. This first book in the series explains how Martin's life is turned upside down when in the middle of an autopsy one working day, the "body" speaks to him. They go on to solve the murder of the "body" together against all of Martin's better judgements. The two characters are so different, chalk and cheese in fact, and this is where the amusing part of the book comes in.
The author is German, and the book takes place in Germany. It really is a good read, different and fun to read. The only thing that disappointed me is that the translation, while excellent..... is in American English, which I am not too keen on. I have downloaded book two of the series onto my Kindle though, and look forward to seeing what happens next to the two unlikely pair.
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on 11 October 2013
This is a very clever plot idea - a ghost in a morgue wanting his name cleared. I thought the characters were very believable (as long as you suspend disbelief about ghosts of course). The story moved along quickly and enjoyably. I would thoroughly recommend this, it's a very good read.
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