As usual, all is abnormal in Dr Siri Paiboun's morgue in downtown Vientiane. Siri and his team are investigating the case of the Three Epees: three women skewered by a sword through their hearts. A culprit has been apprehended, tried and sentenced to death in a week's time. But Siri isn't sure they have the right man. Unfortunately, the number one, and only, coroner of Laos isn't in a position to help anyone - not even himself. As his 74th birthday dawns, Siri finds himself incarcerated in prison by the Khymer Rouge, facing torture and starvation. As usual, his curiosity is to blame for his predicament, but this time it looks as though his inquisitiveness could be the end of him. Could Dr Siri's next outing be from beyond the grave?
Mit diesem 7. Teil der Dir.-Siri-Reihe hat sich Colin Cotterill selbst übertroffen. Wie immer beginnt die Geschichte heiter, Dr. Siri und Civilai kommen mir oft vor, wie ein eingespieltes Slapstick-Duo mit ihrem treffsicheren Sarkasmus. Bald ist unser Held auch wieder in ein paar schreckliche Verbrechen involviert und steckt seine Nase in Dinge, die ihn eigentlich als Leichenbeschauer garnichts angehen, aber was wäre die unterbesetzte Polizei von Vientiane ohne ihn? Mitten in einem spannenden Mordfall wird er gemeinsam mit Civilai auf eine diplomatische Mission nach Kambodscha geschickt, und spätestens da nimmt die Geschichte einen Lauf, der mir tatsächlich die Tränen in die Augen gebracht hat. Was zu dieser Zeit, also den späten 70ern, in diesem Land passiert ist, kann und will man garnicht glauben. Cotterill zeichnet ein schonungsloses Bild, und Dr. Siri wird bald selbst Opfer dieses grausamen Regimes.
Einmal mehr ein spannender Krimi mit viel Tiefgang und einem Wiedersehen mit all den liebgewordenen Figuren, die auch in der schwierigsten Situation zusammenhalten wie Pech und Schwefel. Ein Lesevergnügen der besonderen Art, es ist zu hoffen, dass auch noch ein Teil 8 folgen wird!
The second initiative, ab big public relations push for 1978, planned to coincide with the billboard invasion, was the creation of Socialist Man. A sorto of poor relative of Super-, Bat-, and Spiderman, Socialist Man was the ideological Frankenstein of the Party. He was the embodiment of everthing perfect in a good socialist. He was steadfast, had a spirit of solidarity, was a good father and respected the laws. One evening, Siri, Daeng and Civilai had even gone so far as to design him a costume; a green leotard to represent the young rice shoots, rubber boots to keep his feet dry, naturally, a red cape adorned with a hammer and sickle, and a scabbard for his hoe.
There was something sinister about this country. It wasn't a comic parody of a socialist state, it was a deadly serious parody. It was as if they believed that this was how it was supposed to look. They'd read the Communist Manifesto and missed the point. Just as Christian and Muslim extremists found hatred and vengeance that didn't exist in their respective manuals, these Red Khmer believed Marx and Lenin had called for the obliteration of personality and pleasure and free thought. Believed that blind allegiance was the only way to proliferate their doctrines. Civilai had never read it that way because that wasn't how it had been written.
"All this while, all through the slaughter and the genocide, they've continued to run tourist flights to visit Angkor Wat. It's absolutely true. Well-heeled Europeans and Americans pop up to the temple, take a few snaps, buy their souvenirs, eat ice cream and none of them are any wiser that the population around them is being decimated. 'Honey, did you hear that? It sounded like a gun.' 'Don't be silly, doll. Probably popcorn.' It's all part of the KR public relations campaign to make the outside world believe everything's fine and dandy there. I tell you, Daeng, if I wrote this in a story nobody would believe it, but I saw it with my own eyes. I watched them stroll around the ruins and not thirty kilometers away there were graves with bodies four deep."