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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Colin Cotterrill - Anarchy and Old Dogs

recorded show for 23rd August 2012 by Ro Bennett

Well this is the antidote to The Secret Children! It’s a far better book to read on a rainy Sunday afternoon and I rummaged around to find it as soon as I had finished the previous book as it was guaranteed to make me smile and cheer me up. It didn’t fail me. It’s the fourth book in the Dr Siri mysteries and I have reviewed the first book, The Coroner’s Lunch on an earlier Book Show.

The books are set in the chaotic period in Laos around 1976 just after the monarchy has been ousted and the Communist Pathet Lao have taken over. Dr Siri is still

This is the description from the front cover:

Aged seventy three, Dr Siri Paiboun - Laos’ one and only coroner - is beginning to forgive his country’s communist rulers for denying him the comfortable retirement he so richly deserves. His morgue may have less equipment than the local butcher and he may curse his job after an all night session on the rice whiskey, but Dr Siri is finding there is something most stimulating about investigating mysterious deaths - especially when they lead to things better left undisturbed.

So when a blind dentist is run down by a logging truck, Dr Siri is immediately intrigued - not by his mortal remains, but by the letter in his pocket. Written in invisible ink and encrypted, Dr Siri knows an irresistible challenge when he sees one.

Assembling his code cracking team, Dr Siri is soon embroiled in his most explosive case yet. An anti-communist plot is brewing and with the Laos government suffering from the debilitating effects of ineptitude, it just might be up to Siri and his friends to save their beloved country. But it’s a race against time, and navigating jungle swamps and government red tape is a lengthy business.

An interesting, compelling page turner - it’s got everything. It’s well written, full of humour and wit, it has suspense and intrigue, it’s informative in a reader-friendly way, the characters are well drawn and the location exotic. It’s the sort of book you can’t put down and don’t want to end.

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