The Coroner's Lunch

Front Cover
Penguin Group, 2010 - Coroners - 271 pages
52 Reviews

Laos, 1976. The monarchy has been deposed, the Communist Pathet Lao have taken over. Most of the educated class has fled, but Dr Siri Paiboun, a Paris-trained doctor remains. And so this 72-year-old physician is appointed state coroner, despite having no training, equipment, experience or even inclination for the job. But the job's not that bad and Siri quickly settles into a routine of studying outdated medical texts, scrounging scarce supplies, and circumnavigating bureaucratic red tape to arrive at justice. The fact that the recently departed are prone to pay Siri the odd, unwanted nocturnal visit turns out to be an added bonus in his new line of work.

But when the wife of a party leader turns up dead and the bodies of tortured Vietnamese soldiers start bobbing to the surface of a Laotian lake, all eyes turn to Siri. Faced with official cover-ups and an emerging international crisis, the doctor enlists old friends, village shamans, forest spirits, dream visits from the dead - and even the occasional bit of medical deduction - to solve the crimes.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jetangen4571 - LibraryThing

historical-research, historical-novel, history-and-culture, communism, Laos, mystery, murder Excellent mystery and characters! Grabbed my interest and just wouldn't let go! Siri has been a doctor for ... Read full review

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User Review  - antao - LibraryThing

I few years ago a realization struck me. Why were the protagonists of the books I was reading invariably between the ages of 20 to 40 (give or take a few years at each end of the interval)? Publishing ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Colin Cotterill was born in London. He has taught in Australia, the USA and Japan and lived for many years in Laos where he worked for nongovernmental social service organizations. He now writes full-time and lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Colin won the 2009 CWA Dagger in the Library Award for his Dr Siri series.

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