Reviews

Thirty-three Teeth

Holly Doyle

Colin Cotterill’s new novel, Thirty-three Teeth (Vintage Canada), features Dr. Siri Paiboun, the seventy-two-year-old coroner of Laos. Paiboun is a man who manages to stay in favour with the Communist government even though he breaks the rules and tries to find out who killed and mutilated several people whose corpses have shown up at the morgue. Among the suspects are a mistreated black mountain bear kept in a cage in a hotel courtyard and a weretiger (a tiger that can transform into the shape of a man). While Paiboun is chasing the murderer, he has a near-death experience, finds out that his father was a renowned shaman and learns to trust his dreams. This is the second book in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series. Let’s hope that this old man, who may or may not have chopped down a pole supporting a loudspeaker that blasts government propaganda into the yard of the concrete house he was given by the government—a house that remains empty while Dr. Siri sleeps in a hammock in the backyard—survives through many more stories.

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