Dr Siri's bagged himself a holiday: an all-expenses-paid trip to the northern mountains of Laos. What's more, through a bit of skilful bartering (well, blackmail) he has wangled it so that his nearest and dearest may accompany him.
They are to assist a US-funded search for a lost CIA pilot - Boyd Bowry - missing since his aircraft was downed in 1968. But Siri's not taking the search too seriously, as he strongly suspects that when the helicopter exploded, the pilot followed suit.
However, just hours into the trip, it becomes apparent that ulterior motives are at work within the group. And Siri's suspicions are confirmed when those associated with the airman start dropping like the insects that frequent his country.
Siri and co are caught up in something big: something that goes way back, and way over their heads. And, if this wasn't bad enough, a psychic of unquestionable repute then informs Siri that he will shortly die: in 'a day or two', to be precise.
Colin Cotterill was born in London. He has taught in Australia, the USA and Japan and lived for many years in Laos where he worked for nongovernmental social service organizations. He now writes full-time and lives in Chumphone, Thailand. He has been short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger and has won the CWA Dagger in the Library.