It really is a nice feeling when an author gets something so right that it seems perfect. Colin Cotterill has obviously at some stage in his varied career been in close contact with people with Down’s Syndrome, because he gets Mr Geung spot on in this passage from Thirty Three Teeth.
‘See that, Mr Geung? Those marks are almost identical to the ones on Auntie See.’
He continued to prepare the teacher for storage.
‘Let….let’s wait for the Comrade Doctor.’
‘Wouldn’t you trust me to cut her up, pal?’
‘Dr Siri is a doctor.’
‘And what am I?’
‘What about when I come back from four years study in the Soviet Union with a coroner’s certificate. Will I still be just a girl then?’
‘Then you…you…you’ll be an old girl.’
He kept his face straight for as long as was humanly possible then snorted his laugh. She picked up the bone cleaver and chased him round the dissection table.
Dr Siri, Nurse Dtui and Mr Geung are one of the most charming and lovable trio of investigators in crime fiction, and the books are a rarity in the positive image they give of someone with a learning difficulty. More about this book next week.