Father and son coroners receive a mysterious unidentified corpse with no apparent cause of death. As they attempt to examine the "Jane Doe," they discover increasingly bizarre clues that hold the key to her terrifying secrets.
African-American Philadelphia police detective Virgil Tibbs is arrested on suspicion of murder by Bill Gillespie, the racist police chief of tiny Sparta, Mississippi. After Tibbs proves not only his own innocence but that of another man, he joins forces with Gillespie to track down the real killer. Their investigation takes them through every social level of the town, with Tibbs making enemies as well as unlikely friends as he hunts for the truth.
Two college roommates venture out to identify a fellow student, who is most likely to commit suicide as it will help them pass the semester.
Stênio, the nightshifter of a morgue, has the ability to communicate with the cadavers that are brought to him every night.