Monday, December 5, 2016

Slash and Burn

Slash and Burn by Colin Cotterill  290 pp.

This is the eighth book in the Dr. Siri series. Dr. Siri Paiboun, the government coroner of Laos may finally get to retire, at least that is what he hopes. But first he must assist the Lao government in finding and returning the remains of a lost pilot, who happens to be the son of a U.S. Senator. Siri and his wife, Madam Deang, along with the usual characters, Nurse Dtui, Mr. Geung, Civilai, Officer Phosy, and Dr. Siri's boss, the incompetent Judge Haeng are all part of the expedition. The local cross-dressing fortune teller has stowed away to be part of the trip and is once again predicting Siri's death to be sooner rather than later. When a member of the U.S. delegation turns up dead, the hunt for the killer and the explanation for the unusual burning of a forest is on. In spite of the grim topic, deaths, and government corruption, the story is laced with humor and the irrepressible Dr. Siri once again solves the mysteries while invoking the talents of his favorite sleuth "Inspector Maigret" (or, as Nurse Dtui calls him: Inspector Migraine). Mr. Geung, the morgue assistant with Down's Syndrome receiving a medal for "Outstanding Contribution to the Security and Development of the People's Democratic Republic of Laos (2nd Tier)" made a nice ending.

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