Colin Cotterill is a cartoonist, illustrator and novelist. An Australian citizen, born in London, he has lived and been employed in various educational roles in Australia, Israel, the USA, Japan and Laos, before settling in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. For the last several years he has been involved with local nongovernmental agencies working to prevent child prostitution and rehabilitate abused children, and he recently set up the Books for Laos project, which raises money for the production of children's books.
It's the 1970s in the People's Democratic Republic of Laos, and with the Communist bosses coming to town for a jamboree everything needs to be tidy. Which is why reluctant national coroner Dr Siri Paiboun finds himself in the mountains of Huaphan Province. Inconveniently, there's a mummified arm protruding from a concrete path.
Questions Siri has to answer: What is a Cuban black magic cult doing in the mountains of Laos? Does the handsome officer have the hots for his assistant Nurse Dtui? Why does an infernal disco start up each night just as he begins to nod off? And why, why do the spirits insist on talking to him?