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serial-killer, series, murder-investigation, Laos, historical-fiction, historical-places-events, history-and-culture, sly-humor
Despite my aversion to books that delve into the mind of a serial killer, I still had to give this whodunit 5 stars because it was so diabolically done. I really don't deal in spoilers, so I'm not sure what else I can say, except that it is certainly worth the read.
Clive Chafer continues to be excellent as narrator.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Most people believe serial killers are an American invention. I mean 'American' in the truest sense: North, Central, and South American. This particular psychopathic subtype may have first been identified, named and popularized by Western psychologists and sociologists, but the archetype existed in the East before the birth of Christ.
Colin Cotterill's "The Merry Misogynist" (2009) explores the idea of a Laotian serial killer. The killer's ability to succeed depends on the killer's innate understanding of Laos; its tribes; and communist bureaucracy in the 1970's. I have no idea if Cotterill's description of the half dozen papers needed to marry were correct at the time, but it certainly sounded plausible.
The country is scarred by war, and recovering slowly. The royal family has fallen, and after half a century of insurgency, the communists are establishing a new government. Resources are so limited that someone driving a truck, even in the capital of Vientiane, must be an important person with contacts and resources.
There's the mystery lover's question: does National Coroner (and the green eyed host of a 1000 year old spirit, Ya Ming) Dr. Siri Paiboun rely on 'deus ex solvo' to uncover the killer? No, of course not. Cotterill's settings are unique, but he follows the mystery writer's convention: the solve depends on solid facts, not the supernatural.
Clive Chafer's narration is great. He has an English? Australian? accent, which made the listen more exotic.
10 of 15 people found this review helpful