Disco for the Departed (Dr. Siri Mysteries Book 3)


Colin Cotterill

Dr Siri Paiboun, reluctant national coroner of the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, is summoned to a remote location in the mountains of Huaphan Province, where for years the leaders of the current government had hidden out in caves, waiting to assume power. Now, as a major celebration of the new regime is scheduled to take place, an arm is found protruding from the concrete walk that had been laid from the President’s former cave hideout to his new house beneath the cliffs. Dr Siri is ordered to supervise the disinterment of the body attached to the arm, identify the corpse, and discover how he died.

Reviews:meymoon on Amazon wrote:

The entire Dr. Siri series is quite well written. Almost every book has a very good story line. The characters are very well developed and the mysteries are well thought out and fun to read.

Partly because these series take place in an Eastern country (Laos) there is that whole supernatural element to them. The main character (Dr. Siri) hosts a thousand year old Shaman in his body. Now, if you can't get over having to accept that, you should definitely skip reading these books because that part is central to all of them. I thought that it might bother me but the way the author introduces this fact and weaves it into the story, makes you kind of just go with it. I now find that it doesn't bother me at all and in fact, adds to the story.

Ironically, what's more unbelievable for me is that a 73 year old can do all the things Dr. Siri does, suffer such horrible injuries and just keep going. Having parents in that age range, it seems to me very unlikely that people of that age could bounce back so quickly from all the various injuries Dr. Siri sustains.

Be that as it may, these books are all definitely worth reading. Not only are they great stories, they have taught me so much about Laos, it's culture and its history, something I knew absolutely nothing about. I read some reviews saying that the books are propaganda or re-writing of history. My thought is that you read historical fiction to get a feel for the country, culture, habits, etc., and if you want an accurate history, you read a few historical books and make up your own mind. This author's portrayal of the US-Laos conflict is not God's word and I don't think he expects it to be!

Gill on Goodreads wrote:

A lovely light read - I must be inured to descriptions of medical procedures and autopsies as I did not find these difficult as some readers report.
Cotterill crafts a superb mystery and does not show his hand too early. Throughout the book one returns to the secondary adventure of Geung the downs' syndrome able assistant at the mortuary who is not present in the primary investigation with Dtui and Dr. Siri.
Despite the fact that one knows pretty well what to expect with Dr. Siri as it has been used in the earlier books of the series, it is still a quick, light, enjoyable read which makes me look for the next in the series!
Each book stands alone, but as with Pargetter's Cadfael series, one gains a further perspective and insight into characters who may pop up unexpectedly during the books, by reading the preceding two stories before embarking on this one. There is a fourth and I am hoping more may follow too!

One slight problem I had with it was that because the beginning of the next book is printed at the end of the current one (and who can resist such a taster?) I feel for the first chapter always as if I have made a mistake in getting this book and have read this book before!

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