Slash and Burn Hardcover – Dec 6 2011
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Praise for Slash and Burn
"Dr. Siri Paiboun will be a gladdening complement to many mystery-reader’s table. If you are unfamiliar with Paiboun works, it is time to crawl out of whatever cave you have been living in."
—The Christian Science Monitor
“Any crime fan who hasn’t discovered the Dr. Siri books should start here and then work back. This is the eighth and best, and it’s been far too long since book seven.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Outstanding . . . deftly inserts humor into what could easily have been an unrelentingly grim plot line.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“The most entertaining case for Siri (Love Songs from a Shallow Grave, 2010, etc.) in years.”
"Cotterill brings together all the elements that have made the stories so popular: a good mystery, plenty of humor, and a touch of the supernatural. A must for series fans."
Praise for the Dr. Siri series
"Unpredictable . . . Tragically funny and magically sublime."
"A wonderfully fresh and exotic mystery. If Cotterill had done nothing more than treat us to Siri's views on the dramatic, even comic crises that mark periods of government upheaval, his debut mystery would still be fascinating. But the multiple cases spread out on Siri's examining table are not cozy entertainments but substantial crimes that take us into the thick of political intrigue."
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"You get a real feeling for what Laos was like in the '70s. The humor is wonderful, too."
—New York Post
"The sights, smells and colors of Laos practically jump off the pages of this inspired, often wryly witty first novel."
"A fresh and innovative detective who goes straight to the heart and soul, without any sappty sentiment. THe author gives us exotic locations; a world that few us know well; crisp, intelligent, and often-witty writing; and most of all a hero unlike any other."
"A crack storyteller and an impressive guide to a little-known culture."
—Washington Post Book World
“This is the seventh and most sardonic of Mr. Cotterill’s Dr. Siri series, and it is not easy to cope with the combination of misery and merry melancholy that he employs. His writing, as always, is skillful and smooth and his plot is artfully strung together. The book fascinates as it chills.”
—The Washington Times
"This wonderful series has consistently managed to convey the beauty and sadness of this damaged country through the wisdom and humor of its protagonist."
—The Boston Globe
"I love this elegantly written series, set in Laos with clever, septuagenarian coroner Dr. Siri. This one, the seventh, is the best, but all of them are terrific . . . A delightful mix of history and politics, and an excellent mystery."
—The Globe and Mail
“It’s a rare treat to say that a book placed so far into a series is the best one. Authors more often than not run out of steam by the seventh book. Not Colin Cotterill.”
—The Seattle Times
About the Author
Colin Cotterill is the author of ten other books in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series, including The Coroner’s Lunch, Thirty-Three Teeth, Disco for the Departed, and Six and a Half Deadly Sins. His fiction has won a Dilys Award and a CWA Dagger in the Library. He lives in Chumphon, Thailand, with his wife and six deranged dogs.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Siri, the nearly 80 year old corner of Laos, wants to retire and spend some time with his wife before he dies; a death predicted by the local transvestite fortuneteller. Yet it agrees to one last job. Ten years earlier, during the Vietnam War, a US fighter pilot went down in the jungle. A search party of Americans and Laotian scientists and high-level politicians set out to find the pilots remains. They don’t expect to be trapped in a remote cabin due to smoke. Even less, do they expect one of their party to die.
From the very beginning, it’s clear that this isn’t your usual mystery, unless you read a lot of books where the protagonist embodies a centuries-old shaman and a transvestite fortune teller are among the charters. But the wonderfully quirky cast of characters is only one thing that makes this book a delight to read. However, one thing devotedly to be wished, would be a cast of characters at the beginning of the book, as it did become confusing at times.
Excellent descriptions; “But the setting was idyllic. It wasn’t yet 10:00 A.M. and not all the mist had burned away from the surrounding mountains. The sun was still a fuzzy egg yolk behind a lace curtain. The air was fresh and tingled the back of Siri’s throat. The sound of running stream water provided the soundtrack. The second hands on the watches on the wrists of the Americans began to crawl more slowly around the faces. Time had altered.”
The book is filled with humor, but there’s pathos as well. We’re presented with a country subjected to war, and a description of a village which has lost an “entire generation of able-bodied young men.” Tucked into this story is the remarkable story of what happened to the people of this area.Read more ›
In 1968, helicopter pilot Boyd Bowry went down with his aircraft in a fiery crash. A search party was unable to find the wreckage or any survivors of the crash so the occupants were listed as MIA and the search called off.
Ten years later, a U.S. delegation has decided to pick up the search through the Lao jungles for remains of Bowry. The infamous Dr. Siri Paiboun, a seventy-four year old national coroner, is recruited by the Ministry of Justice to head the search. Dr. Siri is due to retire shortly but reluctantly agrees on one more job to the dismay of his wife Daeng. Selecting his team after turning down the one suggested by his boss Judge Haeng, Siri joins the U.S. party in the search.
At the Friendship hotel, a run-down place where the teams are sequestered, one of the team is found dead in a compromising way. Due to the "slash and burn" process used to rejuvenate the forest, the team is grounded and unable to transport the body to the coroner leaving Dr. Siri and U.S. pathologist Dr. Yamaguchi to perform the autopsy at the hotel. Soon accidents begin to happen and bodies begin to pile up as Siri and his team uncover a conspiracy to cover up elicit activities by people in high places.
Colin Cotterill teacher, writer, and cartoonist continues to draw his readers into the escapades of Dr. Siri and hoping "Slash and Burn" won't be the last of the series.
Reviewed by Jodi Ann Hanson for Suspense Magazine
`Trust me - nothing can go wrong this time.'
Dr Siri is to accompany a joint Lao- American team into a remote area of Laos to examine what might the remains of a downed US airman and his helicopter missing since August 1968. It's a five day mission and Dr Siri's presence has been requested by the Americans. Dr Siri negotiates, and agrees to accompany the mission provided that he is accompanied by his wife Madame Daeng, his mortuary staff Nurse Dtui and Mr Gueng, and his friends Phosy and Civilai. Readers familiar with the series (this is the eighth book) will recognise each of these characters.
`But the nice thing about facts is that you can toss them in here and there merely to win arguments. It doesn't matter if they're accurate.'
Dr Siri quickly realises that nothing is really as it seems. The reader has some clues about the possible complexity of the mission based on the prologue (from the point of view of Boyd Bowry, the missing pilot) and some mysterious events in the Philippines. American politicians have their own reasons for searching, and while the Lao politicians are cooperating for political reasons, they are most definitely not speaking the same language. And when a member of the expedition is found dead at the Friendship Hotel, Dr Siri is determined to uncover the truth. Auntie Bpoo, the clairvoyant transvestite, is also part of the expedition and has foretold Dr Siri's death. Will it be on this expedition? Will it be before Dr Siri finishes this case?Read more ›