Laos, 1972. The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over. Most of the educated class has fled, but 72-year-old Dr Siri Paiboun, a Paris-trained doctor, remains and is appointed state coroner. When three bodies are recovered from a reservoir, Dr.Siri establishes the cause of death was not drowning - they seem to have been electrocuted. And then there is the inexplicable death of a Party bigwig's wife at a banquet. Dr.Siri doesn't think her death was from natural causes. In the course of his investigations, he travels to his birthplace, where he makes a discovery....
"[T]his debut mystery, with its convincing and highly interesting portrayal of an exotic locale, marks the author as someone to watch." (Publishers Weekly)
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