(From the publisher):
Set in Laos, once part of Indochina, recently taken over by the Communist Pathet Lao party, its protagonist, Dr. Siri Paiboun, is a physician trained in Paris. For lack of other candidates--most of the educated class has fled--he has been appointed chief coroner. A lofty title, but the reality is humbling: a barely equipped morgue, staffed by a retarded morgue technician and a poverty-stricken, homely nurse whose brilliant improvisation keeps them functioning. Dr. Siri is no slouch at cost-containment, either; at one point he employs cockroaches in a novel experiment to provide him with a telling clue.
After months of boredom, there is a sudden spate of bodies, one slain more mysteriously than the next. Three have risen from the dark waters into which they'd been cast. The Party wants certain answers, but at his advanced age, Dr. Siri feels immune to bureucratic pressure. His bosses aren't happy with him, nor are the dead who come into his care, whom he cannot fail with out risk of incurring their boundess displeasure. Eternity could be a long time to have the spirits mad at you.
Original title: The Coroner's Lunch
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery