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The Rat Catchers' Olympics
by Colin Cotterill


Overview - The 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow is already rife with controversy, but when a Lao athlete is accused of murder, it escalates into a full blown international incident. In the twelfth entry to the series, Dr. Siri Paiboun and his quirky team of misfits are on the case in a city and country foreign to them, yet familiar in its corruption of justice.  Read more...

 
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More About The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill
 
 
 
Overview
The 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow is already rife with controversy, but when a Lao athlete is accused of murder, it escalates into a full blown international incident. In the twelfth entry to the series, Dr. Siri Paiboun and his quirky team of misfits are on the case in a city and country foreign to them, yet familiar in its corruption of justice.

1980: The People's Democratic Republic of Laos is proud to be competing in its first-ever Olympics. Of course, half the world is boycotting the Moscow Summer Olympic Games to protest the Soviet Union's recent invasion of Afghanistan, but that has made room for athletes from countries that are usually too small or underfunded to be competitive--like Laos.

Ex-national coroner of Laos Dr. Siri Paiboun may be retired, but he and his wife, Madame Daeng, would do just about anything to have a chance to visit Moscow, so Siri finagles them a trip by getting them hired as medical advisers to the Olympians. Most of the athletes are young and innocent village people who have never worn running shoes, much less imagined anything as marvelous as the Moscow Olympic Village. As the competition heats up, however, Siri begins to suspect that one of the athletes is not who he says he is. Fearing a conspiracy, Siri and his friends investigate, liaising in secret with Inspector Phosy back home in Laos to see if the man might be an assassin. Siri's progress is derailed when a Lao Olympian is accused of murder. Now in the midst of a murky international incident, Dr. Siri must navigate not one but two paranoid government machines to make sure justice is done.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781616958251
  • ISBN-10: 1616958251
  • Publisher: Soho Crime
  • Publish Date: August 2017
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds

Series: Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery #9

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - International Mystery & Crime
Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Magical Realism

 
BookPage Reviews

Whodunit: A red-eye investigation

The title of The Late Show, the first book in Michael Connelly’s newest series, is the au courant cop euphemism for what used to be called the “graveyard shift.” Cop Renée Ballard gets exiled to this very shift after she files sexual harassment charges against a senior officer and loses the battle for justice. Ballard’s new beat hosts a different sort of policing than that pursued by her daytime counterparts. Most of the time, her nighttime cases involve little more than preliminary interviews and the task of securing the crime scenes before passing the baton to the day-shift investigators. But this is all about to change when she comes across two new cases: the brutal beating of a transgender prostitute and the shooting of five people in a Hollywood nightclub called The Dancers (a nod to Raymond Chandler’s seminal Los Angeles noir, The Long Goodbye). Like any good cop, Ballard chafes at the idea of handing off her cases, so she pursues the investigation on the down-low, a particularly dangerous undertaking, considering that the lead officer on the nightclub case is none other than the officer who sexually harassed her. Few authors, if any, know more about drawing readers into a new series than Connelly, and he does so in spades this time around.

GOING OFF BOOK
Sometimes the best-laid plans go awry, but rarely as spectacularly as those of Cassie Dewell, an investigator for the Bakken County sheriff’s department in North Dakota, in her foiled attempt to capture the serial killer known as the Lizard King in C.J. Box’s riveting Paradise Valley. Dewell’s latest sting operation should have been foolproof. But the culprit caught wind of the sting and then constructed his own retribution—punctuated with explosives and multiple dead bodies. Now Cassie is disgraced and out of a job, and the Lizard King is still at large. That said, Cassie still holds an ace or two in her hand—and she’s no longer constrained by the rules and regulations of the police department. She has no intention of stopping until justice is done, either by the courts or, if necessary, by Smith & Wesson. Nobody in contemporary suspense does a better job of portraying the new Wild West than Box.

SOCIAL SLANDER
Adrenaline junkies, take note: The new Jeff Abbott novel, Blame, unfolds in totally unexpected ways—just as his fans have come to expect. Jane Norton is an old soul, aged by life events far beyond her tender 20 years: the mysterious death of her father; the tragic car accident that left her with serious injuries, partial amnesia and took the life of her friend and next-door neighbor, David; and the aftermath of being shunned by friends and family for her perceived role in said accident. None of the talk would stand up in a court of law, but a court of gossip is bound by far less stringent rules of evidence. Now, three years to the day after what she rightly considers the worst day of her life, Jane gathers up the courage to go on social media to see what people are posting. And that is where she finds the post from “Liv Danger” threatening to tell the truth about the accident. The post ends with the ominous note, “All will pay,” and this is where the story takes off. At 384 pages, Blame is a long read for one sitting, but you’ll want to do just that.

TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
The field of suspense novels covers a broad range of subgenres and locales: intense urban police procedurals set in Oslo or Sao Paulo; unique detective stories set in North Korea or Botswana; cozies set in Martha’s Vineyard or provincial France. But if you’re desperately seeking mysteries set in post-revolution Laos, you have but one choice: Colin Cotterill’s series featuring the irrepressible Dr. Siri Paiboun. In his latest adventure, The Rat Catchers’ Olympics, retired septuagenarian Dr. Siri finagles a spot on the Laotian contingent to the 1980 Moscow Olympics. (Keep in mind that this was a notoriously undersubscribed Olympic Games due to the politics of the time, thus affording an opportunity for poorer countries, like Laos, to take part.) Dr. Siri will not be a competitor, at least not in the athletic sense, but will serve as the team’s doctor. He’s also self-appointed investigator of all things seemingly not on the up-and-up, of which there will be many—like the unnamed team member who may be an assassin. The Dr. Siri books are by turns laugh-out-loud funny, sobering, convoluted, historical and endlessly entertaining, especially the parts where the eccentric Siri engages in putting one over on any or all of his acquaintances in government. This series will have you reading (and laughing) well after most people in your household are sound asleep.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews