reviwed on a recorded bookshow by Ro Bennett Oct. 2013
This is the sixth Dr Siri book about the lovely old pathologist in Laos. It was another excellent page turner. And it’s an absolute bargain at only £1.78 for the kindle edition.
Somebody in Laos is wooing and wedding country girls - and then killing them on honeymoon and binding their bodies to trees. The horror of what this monster does to his victims appalls Dr Siri and his morgue team and they vow revenge.
But they're distracted by the disappearance of itinerant Crazy Rajid. Siri has been getting premonitions that he's in danger. A trail of elaborate clues and remarkable disclosures about the Indian's past lead them to Vientiane's most ancient temple - and a terrible discovery.
This is the usual wonderful mix of humour, suspense, pathos and feel good
factor. I love the characters, I love how the relationships and their stories are evolving, the insight into Lao life and culture and I love Colin Cotterill’s writing style. It’s like catching up with family and their latest adventures.
It’s the 1970‘s / 80‘s and the exhausted people of Laos are trying to rebuild their country and live a normal life after a prolonged civil war that has resulted in an ill-equipped Communist Party coming to power. As usual, Dr Siri is in trouble with the authorities and trying to outwit them and their ridiculous rules and regulations and red tape. This time he is being accused of not living in the accommodation assigned him by the government. The zealous housing department officers are spying on him, trying to catch him out, staying overnight with his wife Madame Daeng above her noodle shop instead of in his official residence. He needs to sort this out successfully because if he loses his home, all the people staying there will be homeless.
Dr Siri and Civilai are also looking for crazy Rajid who hasn’t been seen for a while. As well as all this, he and his team at the mortuary are trying to identify a beautiful young woman who has been strangled - an unusual form of murder in Laos. This takes them to villages in a more remote and dangerous area of Laos.
The book was quite gripping, tense, scary and gruesome in parts, with unexpected twists and turns as well, but balanced with the gentle humour and lovely heart warming characters. So an all round excellent book which I heartily recommend.