38-year-old Paul Zorn, a Hamburg Homicide Squad detective, has devoted his whole life to the force, as did his father and grandfather. Paul's wife drifted away from him and found a new man, and now Paul sees relatively little of their 8-year-old daughter. In fact, Paul idolises the girl, but he is resigned to the present situation. Given this, Paul is reasonably contented - as long as he doesn't think about the future. As for his character, he hates ignorance and prejudice, and he has a sixth sense for danger: for instance, he avoids any vicious-looking dogs. His hair loss worries him, though he dresses casual. In interrogations he benefits from his patience. He is able to listen quietly and is trained in logical thinking. He always appears to be shy and surprises his opponents often when he proves that he is quite capable of showing hardness. He usually investigates on his own as far as the enquiries in a murder case permit this. In his work he is very meticulous, which makes him seem tenacious. His curiosity about people often puts him on the right track, which is vital for successful investigations.
Paul gets on well with his superior, Chief Superintendent Henning Peters, 55, and the 40-year-old clerk Eva Klaussner. Henning Peters, quiet and diplomatic, is not merely Zorn's boss but also his fatherly friend. Peters respects Paul Zorn as a police officer but disapproves of his lone-wolf instincts. But Peters will give him leeway - as long as his success rate stays high. Peters was also a friend of Zorn's father before he retired. Eva Klaussner works closely with Paul as a clerk in the office of the homicide squad. She takes care of all those things police officers don't like to do: she organizes the duty rota, arranges observations, makes sure that all reports (for example, from the coroner's office) are at hand on time, establishes the identity of registered vehicle owners, and much more.
Detective Inspector Zorn only investigates murder cases. Naturally there is contact with other divisions such as the drug squad, burglary, white-collar crimes, etc, but as the main protagonist, he is the focus of all stories. Since the leading actor has an extremely youthful appearance, the series has a fresh tone without having to resort to a direct youthful slang. The narrative tone is conventional, with a traditional "who done it" solution as appropriate for Friday night thrillers.