The Merry Misogynist (Dr. Siri Investigations) MP3 CD – 1 Oct 2011
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Many a crime fiction reader sighs with resignation when they encounter something over-familiar in the genre they love 'Oh, no!' is the lament, 'Not that plot again!' Or not that kind of character or even locale. Those individuals suffering from such crime fiction fatigue can happily turn to the eccentric and unusual novels of Colin Cotterill, confident in the knowledge that they won’t encounter anything that is clichéd or shop-worn. As his latest book, The Merry Misogynist, reminds us, one can confidently expect that he is quite unlike any other author in the field, delivering quirky, brilliantly plotted (and often hilarious) filigrees of invention that rejuvenate the tired police investigation novel.
As admirers will know, his investigator, the elderly Dr Siri Paiboun, is a truly memorable creation, a dogged, honest official in the often lunatic world of 1970s Laos who (along with his trusty morgue team) painstakingly uncovers the truths behind some elaborately concealed killings. In the new book, girls from the country are being married and then savagely murdered, their bodies tied to trees. In previous cases, Siri has often taken on his assignments reluctantly, but the thought of this ruthless monster cutting a swathe through his victims inspires him to bring all his unorthodox methods to bear in tracking down the killer. But the investigation is almost derailed by a figure called Crazy Rajid. Rajid, a fey figure on the fringes of society, has been experiencing flashes that warn him he is in considerable danger. A dual investigation -- and a sorting out of some baffling and highly misleading clues -- leads Siri and his team into an encounter with dark secrets of the past and a centuries-old temple in Vientiane.
Readers who have enjoyed such delightful earlier entries from Colin Cotterill as Anarchy and Old Dogs and Curse of the Pogo Stick (Cotterill's titles echoes the surrealistic humour of his books) will know what to expect from this latest entry; it’s quite as bizarrely diverting as its predecessors. --Barry Forshaw -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.
'Cotterill's novels have richer plots than Alexander McCall Smith's African detective stories, but the same comic charm' Sunday Times. (Sunday Times)
'...an odd sort of joy to read . his love of south-east Asia is everywhere evident, lending his writing an elegance and poignancy - beautiful exotic imagery, a pleasing wry patter to his characters' speech. The series has been commended for its humanity and intrigue and the latest instalment won't disappoint' City AM. (City AM)
'Witty dialogue and engaging characters, especially the irrepressible Siri, who becomes more lovable with each appearance. The combination of humour, social commentary and a clever mystery make this one of the most enjoyable books I've read all year' Sunday Telegraph. (Sunday Telegraph) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.
Top customer reviews
A sprightly old man whose body carries the spirit of an ancient shaman, he sees dead bodies both figuratively and literally as he is Laos chief, and only coroner.
His repartee with his friends and colleagues and his relationship with his new wife are all so believable. Though their work is not very pleasant, Dr Siri's impish behaviour always lightens the mood.
It makes for light but enjoyable reading and I have the next one bought already.
Dr Siri is distracted as well by the disappearance of Crazy Rajid. How do you begin to track an itinerant mute? Rajid has left a trail of elaborate clues which may assist, but time is of the essence. And, of course, the housing problem needs to be addressed or the people Dr Siri allows to stay in his government-allocated accommodation will be homeless.
Despite these distractions, Dr Siri and his intrepid gang (including Nurse Dtui, Madame Gaeng, Phosy, Civilai and Mr Geung) are all focussed on trying to identify the serial killer who is wooing and wedding - and then killing - young country girls.
This is the sixth in the Dr Siri series, and is simply wonderful. I read it in one day because I simply couldn't put it down. There was less of the supernatural element in this novel, which I found made it easier to focus on the story itself. It seems, too, that Dr Siri is rejuvenated by his marriage and may well continue to be Laos's reluctant national coroner for some time. I hope so.
In this one, we have two mysteries, a missing friend (sort of friend) and a psychotic serial killer. To be perfectly honest, I do not read Colin's books for the structure of the mystery itself. I read them for their delightful characters, the languid setting, the picture he draws so well of a conflicted land where you constantly have to make compromises in order to survive. And of course that wonderful polyester clad world of the Comintern and socialist brotherhood. The Pathet Lao are rather inept and unsophisticated oppressors, but still dangerous. You have to watch what you say and where you go, otherwise you'll end up in a re-education camp. You always have a choice of taking your chances in the refugee camps in Thailand, just across the river. Or you can try your luck surviving in the Socialist regime and dream of going to Eastern Europe.
If you're new to the series start from the first book.
One of the best things about these books is the real sense of place and the insight into Lao life and culture. For anyone who has visited Laos the books are a real treat as all the places mentioned exist exactly where the book places them, so you can follow Dr Sri as he travels around town solving the murders and getting into tight scrapes.
I love this series of books. These are a meatier read than the no1 Ladies Detective series, but in the same vein. Well rounded and amusing characters, but put into positions of real peril.
I suggest you start reading this series with "The Coroners Lunch", which sets the scene perfectly.
In the latest installment of this wonderfully inventive crime saga, Dr. Siri, joined by his new wife, Madame Daeng, and other colorful colleagues, resolves to solve the murder of beautiful young woman that eventually proves to be the the work of a serial killer. At the same time Siri has other problems to resolve which include the disappearance of a brilliant homeless man and bureaucratic harassment over the motley population living in his officially allotted villa.
The murder investigation is as tightly written and original as any you will find in modern mystery writing and leads to an "ah ha" moment that you do not see coming. The trail to denouement is extremely clever and respects the reader's intelligence all the way. But the best part of this book--and its precedessors--is the presentation of the characters who are uniformly well developed and interesting. There is great wit and compassion in these stories and rarely a false note in their telling.
I haven't read all of the Siri stories yet, but enough to discern a growing strength in Colin Cotterill's writing skills that makes me hanker for the next book in the series. It is bound to be a good one.
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