Sunday 27 May 2018

Review: Love songs From a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill

Quercus, €14.63

Laotian coroner Dr Siri Paiboun and his colleagues, who include new wife Madame Daeng and Mr Geung and Nurse Dtui, are investigating the mysterious death of three beautiful young women, each of whom has studied abroad in communist countries and has been skewered by duelling epees, unusual weapons in 1970s Laos.

Police quickly identify a suspect, who is summarily arrested, tried and sentenced to death.

However, Dr Siri is not convinced they have the right man, but unfortunately he's now in no position to expose the real killer. Not for the first time, his insatiable curiosity has got him into trouble.

Lured abroad by the enticing prospect of an all-expenses-paid trip to Cambodia, he is accused of spying for the Vietnamese and is thrown by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime into a stinking jail. Does this spell the end for the dauntless and doughty Dr Siri?

Any crime-fiction fans who haven't yet discovered the delights of Colin Cotterell's series of mysteries should make a bee-line for this seventh adventure featuring the number one -- and only -- coroner in Laos.

Irish Independent

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