Disco for the Departed (A Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery)
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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 was 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.
pronunciation was awful, but Santiago had no problem with that because his own accent was equally horrible. He, too, had learned English from American textbooks. Siri was full of admiration for his talented assistant. Throughout the morning, the two old doctors caught up with each other’s lives since last they’d met. Santiago was spending more time on administering Cuban aid, he told them, and had less and less time available for the job he was actually trained for. Farmers continued to get
complaint to Santiago. Three: get information about any other projects in the region in which dark-skinned foreigners were involved. Siri broadened the search to include Vietnamese mountain tribesmen even though he was quite sure the dead man was not Asian. Somewhere between numbers seven and eight on the list, order finally gave way to sleep. The crow and the sparrow returned for a dream sequel, still on their wire above the valley, still preening one another. But slowly, one by one, other
Santiago will be dropping by here on his way to Kilometer 8 Hospital. I’ve asked him to take a look at our mummy. See if he recognizes him.” “Hmm. I doubt even the great Dr. Santiago could identify what’s left. He’ll probably be too busy chasing around young girls barely old enough to be his granddaughters.” Siri noted his animosity but wasn’t really interested enough to dig down to its roots. Lit looked around. “I can’t help but notice the absence of Nurse Dtui at our last two meetings. I hope
time. On roads that were merely being upgraded, this wasn’t a problem. But on new roads, the Vietnamese engineers sometimes arrived at a river with their road trailing behind them, only to find they’d missed the bridge by several yards. The Vietnamese refused to reroute the roads; the Russians had no intention of rebuilding the bridges. As Civilai often said, “The monk is in no position to return the alms if he doesn’t find them to his taste.” By the time Siri had found the discreet,
… I … I … I have to g … guard the morgue.” “No you don’t, son.” “Yes. Yes I d … do. I promised Comrade Dr. Siri a … a … and Comrade Nurse Dtui.” “You don’t work at the morgue anymore.” This was a serious revelation to Geung. “No?” “No.” “Where d … d … do I work?” “You’ll find out.” “B … b … but I … I pr … pro …” The words began to collide again and Geung’s head spun. “Geung, younger brother, I don’t want any trouble from you. You understand?” “I … I …” “Just go back to your seat and