Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"The Rat Catchers' Olympics"

Born in London, Colin Cotterill has worked as teacher in Israel, Australia, the U.S. and Japan before he started training teachers in Thailand. Cotterill and his wife live in a small fishing village on the Gulf of Siam in Southern Thailand. He’s won the Dilys and a CWA Dagger, and has been a finalist for several other awards.

Cotterill applied the Page 69 Test to his latest Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery, The Rat Catchers' Olympics, and reported the following:
This page 69 thing is starting to make me wonder exactly what role the supernatural plays in the content that appears on that magic page every year. It begins with the line,

“The obvious target would be a high-ranking Chinese,” said Civilai. “At least that’s who I’d shoot.”

And right away we know that someone’s under threat and that Civilai isn’t that fond of Chinese. I wonder what he’d think of that same cunning China 37 years on watching its new economic policy steamroll through the region and far beyond. He predicted it as the seeds were being planted in the seventies.

The conjecture continues as Dr. Siri and his team work through other possible targets. We learn that they’re in Moscow for the Olympic Games and that someone on their team of athletes isn’t who he claims to be. But do they have enough evidence to make an accusation?

“What if Sompoo’s here at the invitation of the Soviets? His background means nothing. How many on the shooting team don’t have guerilla training? They’re all expert gunmen for a reason. Until we have something concrete to show them I think we’ll be making fools of ourselves to go to the Soviets with this.”

See? The stage is set in one foul swoop. All we’re missing on that page is some good old Siri and Civilai lightheartedness. But,wait! What’s Siri’s reaction when they wonder if he could be the target?

“I paid two visits to the bathroom at Wattay airport. He could have shot me there.”

“Me too,” said Civilai.
Learn more about the book and author at Colin Cotterill's website.

--Marshal Zeringue