A serial killer is on the loose in Ostend, Belgium. Nicknamed the Stuffer, the mysterious killer fills his victims full of sand and poses them as public art installations - and the once idyllic beach town is in a panic. The fact that Rafael Styx is on the case is no comfort. The corrupt, middle-aged cop has a bum hip, a bad marriage, and ties to the Belgian underworld - but no leads.
When a chance encounter puts him face to face with the Stuffer, Rafael's life is cut short by a gun to the chest. But the afterlife has only just begun: Styx wakes up a zombie. Gradually he realizes his unique position. Now that he exists between life and death, he can enter a "different" Ostend, of the Belle Époque in all its grandeur. There, he meets the surrealist painter Paul Delvaux, who gives Styx his first clue about the killer.
With a fresh lead and a fresh start, the dirty cop decides to change his ways, catch the Stuffer, and restore his honor. But as his new hunger for human flesh impedes his progress, he'll need his old rival, Detective Delacroix, to help him out. Only one thing is for sure: Even death can't stop Styx from catching his own murderer.
©2014 Houtekiet and Bavo Dhooge. English language translation copyright 2015 by Bavo Dhooge and Josh Pachter (P)2015 Tantor