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Craig Jones

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The Coroner

The Coroner's Lunch
Cotterill, Colin
Consortium Book Sales & Dist
Publish date: 2005-11-01
$12.00
1569474184
Paperback

Synopsis:

1975, LaosThe Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colonyDrSiri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner although he has no training for the jobBut there is no one else: the rest of the educated class has fledHe is expected to come up with the answers the Party wantsBut crafty and charming Dr.Siri is immune to bureaucratic pressureAt his age, he reasons, what can they do to him? And he knows he cannot fail the dead who come into his care without risk of incurring their boundless displeasureEternity could be a long time to have the spirits mad at you

Review:

Two interesting mystery series, both published by Soho Press, have produced new installments of late, both taking place in exotic (to me) placesColin Cotterill's series is let in Lao shortly after the Pathet Lao took overNational coroner Siri Paiboun is an elderly physician with no forensic equipment or experienceIn the initial novel, The Coroner's Lunch, Siri discovers he is of Hmong heritage and in subsequent books we learn a fair amount of both Hmong and Lao culture and historyThe newest book in this series is Curse of the Pogo StickMore recently, Matt Beynon Rees, a veteran journalist based in Jerusalem, introduced an aging Palestinian school teacher named Omar Yussef in The Collaborator of BethlehemIn the second novel, A Grave in Gaza, we get a crash course in life in the occupied territory of GazaIn both cases the reader is assailed by the constancy and ordinariness of violence experienced by ordinary people of this region, but is also inspired by those, like Omar, who refuse to acknowledge its inevitability.

   
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