Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Coroner's Lunch

Image sourced from here
Dr Siri is ready to retire. He is 72, a doctor, who and also been a jungle fighter trying to bring about Communist change for years. Now the Communists are in power, and his loyalty will be rewarded with retirement, right? Hmmmm. Not so surprisingly he is "rewarded" by the Party by being appointed Chief Coroner (which he has no training for), and expected to work until he no longer can do so. And on top of that, working for a large amount of young men who don't have any understanding of their positions and are only appointed due to their Soviet university degrees.

Easily enough to drive you mental I would say. But not Dr Siri. He takes it all in his stride with a large amount of humour and sarcasm, and makes it a pleasure to read. We get pulled along with him through some of his investigations, that take him all over Laos and introduce us rather comprehensively to the situation of the 1976 newly Communist country.

The mysteries are good and not too obvious. There is an element of the fantastical/supernatural to the story which I was worried would be heavy handed and out of place, but works rather well. And there are just some great characters that I want to go back and visit again. Luckily there are another nine books for me to do exactly that.

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