Slash and Burn
A Dr. Siri Mystery Set in Laos
By Colin Cotterill
(Soho Crime, Hardcover, 9781616951160)
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Dr. Siri might finally be allowed to retire (again). Although he loves his two morgue assistants, he’s tired of being Laos’s national coroner, a job he never wanted in the first place. Plus, he’s pushing eighty, and wants to spend some time with his wife before his untimely death (which has been predicted by the local transvestite fortune teller).
But retirement is not in the cards for Dr. Siri after all. He’s dragged into one last job for the Lao government: supervising an excavation for the remains of U.S. fighter pilot who went down in the remote northern Lao jungle ten years earlier. The presence of American soldiers in Laos is a hot-button issue for both the Americans and the Lao involved, and the search party includes high-level politicians and scientists. But one member of the party is found dead, setting off a chain of accidents Dr. Siri suspects are not completely accidental. Everyone is trapped in a cabin in the jungle, and the bodies are starting to pile up. Can Dr. Siri get to the bottom of the MIA pilot’s mysterious story before the fortune teller’s prediction comes true?
Colin Cotterill is the Dilys Award-winning author of nine books in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series: The Coroner's Lunch, Thirty-Three Teeth, Disco for the Departed, Anarchy and Old Dogs, Curse of the Pogo Stick, The Merry Misogynist, Love Songs from a Shallow Grave, and Slash & Burn, and The Woman Who Wouldn't Die. He lives in Chumphon, Thailand, with his wife and six deranged dogs.
“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.” —Kirkus
“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.” —Globe and Mail
"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."—Booklist
Praise for the Dr. Siri series:
"Unpredictable.... Tragically funny and magically sublime."—Entertainment Weekly
"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."—Denver Post
"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."—Philadelphia Inquirer
"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.”—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."—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."—Toronto 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 Oregonian