• The Delightful Life of a Suicide Pilot

  • By: Colin Cotterill
  • Narrated by: Clive Chafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After 15 cunning, mischievous, heartbreaking, hilarious, eye-opening, and atmospheric installments, Colin Cotterill's award-winning Dr. Siri Paiboun series comes to a close. Make sure you don't miss this last chapter, a deliciously clever puzzle that illuminates the history of World War II in Southeast Asia.  

Laos, 1981: When an unofficial mailman drops off a strange bilingual diary, Dr. Siri is intrigued. Half is in Lao, but the other half is in Japanese, which no one Siri knows can read; it appears to have been written during the Second World War. Most mysterious of all, it comes with a note stapled to it: Dr. Siri, we need your help most urgently. But who is “we”, and why have they left no return address?   

To the chagrin of his wife and friends, who have to hear him read the diary out loud, Siri embarks on an investigation by examining the text. Though the journal was apparently written by a kamikaze pilot, it is surprisingly dull. Twenty pages in, no one has died, and the pilot never mentions any combat at all. Despite these shortcomings, Siri begins to obsess over the diary’s abrupt ending...and the riddle of why it found its way into his hands. Did the kamikaze pilot ever manage to get off the ground? To find out, he and Madame Daeng will have to hitch a ride south and uncover some of the darkest secrets of the Second World War.

©2020 Colin Cotterill (P)2020 Recorded Books

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Meet the malevolent spirits of Japanese lore!

historical-fiction, historical-research, historical-setting, historical-places-events, Southeast-Asia, spirits, devils, Japanese-lore, satire, senior-citizens, situational-humor, sly-humor, spiritism, supernatural, superstitions, suspense

Once again there are several mysteries to be solved in 1981. Chief Inspector Phosy is tasked with finding out just how a prominent man came to fall off a cliff and gets held hostage for two days along with two of his best men. Dr. Siri and Mme Daeng are off up country to follow a convoluted trail left in a personal journal written half in Japanese and half in Lao. Along the way they come to find out that it is about a Japanese Army pilot during and after WW2 and that it is actually allegorical in nature and reveals the world of Japanese malevolent spirits and devils. This has been a great series and I am sorry to see it end.
I bought the audio and Clive Chafer has been the very adaptable narrator throughout.

6 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite

I have enjoyed these stories, especially the early ones. Bit lately the life seems to have gone out of them, with characters and events more and more predictable. If you have not read any of these, I highly recommend starting with Coroners Lunch and other early volumes.

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Wonderful Series

It expanded my view of our national stupidity.,Also took Laos off bucket list.haha ha