Linares, España, 1963

Antonio Garrido studied industrial engineering at the Polytechnic University of Las Palmas. He is a professor at the Cardenal Herrera-Ceu University of Valencia and the director of a master’s course on vehicle styling and concept at the vocational training centre of the Polytechnic University of Valencia. His first novel, La escriba, found immediate international success and was translated into many languages. Among other awards, his novel El lector de cadáveres earned him the Premio Internacional Ciudad de Zaragoza for the best historical novel published in Spain. In June 2013, this novel became the number one bestseller in all genres on Amazon, something never achieved before by a Spanish author.

  • "Extremely suspenseful, this author makes the reader think long and hard about ancient, underhanded plotting by the old Empire." Suspense Magazine



Fernando Lara Novel Prize, 2015

In the early 1930s, Jack’s life has been ravaged by the Great Depression. After being fired from a car factory in Detroit for being Jewish, he returns to New York to look after his alcoholic father. He has no work and no money, and his life takes a further turn for the worse when he accidentally becomes involved in a murder. With no other option than to leave a country devoid of opportunities, Jack embarks on an unusual project: the U.S.S.R. needs qualified personnel to work at an automotive factory arising from a cooperation agreement with Henry Ford.

The coexistence of two opposing mentalities, capitalist and communist, is put to the test at the new factory, and the logical clash between these two worlds provides a glimpse into the tensions of the Cold War. Jack finds himself involved in a power struggle that forces him to act as an agent for both sides. Meanwhile, he is also caught between the love of two women, an American and a Russian.

"In this book, winner of the 2015 Fernando Lara Award, the author reveals the 'best and the worst of humanity' in a book that is much more than a historical novel." 20 Minutos

2012 Zaragoza International Prize for best historical novel published in Spain (Premio Internacional de Novela Histórica Ciudad de Zaragoza)

After his grandfather dies, avid scholar and budding forensic investigator Cí Song begrudgingly gives up his studies to help his family. But when another tragedy strikes, he’s forced to run and also deemed a fugitive. Dishonored, he has no choice but to accept work as a lowly gravedigger, a position that allows him to sharpen his corpse-reading skills. Soon, he can deduce whether a person killed himself—or was murdered.

His prowess earns him notoriety, and Cí receives orders to unearth the perpetrator of a horrific series of mutilations and deaths at the Imperial Court. Cí’s gruesome investigation quickly grows complicated thanks to old loyalties and the presence of an alluring, enigmatic woman. But he remains driven by his passion for truth—especially once the killings threaten to take down the Emperor himself.

Inspired by Song Cí, considered to be the founding father of CSI-style forensic science, this harrowing novel set during the thirteenth-century Tsong Dynasty draws readers into a multilayered, ingenious plot as disturbing as it is fascinating.

“Antonio Garrido's The Corpse Reader deserves to be called epic. It also deserves a space on the list of great adventure novels right next to Jerzy Kosinki's The Painted Bird and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Horror Talk

“Each successive chapter climaxes in a precarious cliff-hanger from which Song must extricate himself—only to confront an even greater challenge.” The Japan Times

“Garrido’s impressively detailed descriptions of daily life and Cí Song’s innovative methods.” Publishers Weekly

“This novel is exceptional in so many different ways… If you are into forensic sciences, this is a must read… History buffs… also a must-read! For those who enjoy a good forensic science suspense thriller, this will easily fulfill your interests. Highly Recommended!” Book Reader's Heaven

“The Corpse Reader is a refreshing break from the urban-noir fetish that is so common in conventional thrillers and crime books. It’s a great novel to add to a summer reading list.” Ars Technica 

The year is 799, and King Charlemagne awaits coronation as the Holy Roman emperor. But in the town of Würzburg, the young, willful Theresa dreams only of following in the footsteps of her scholarly father—a quiet man who taught her the forbidden pleasures of reading and writing. Though it was unthinkable for a medieval woman to pursue a career as a craftsperson, headstrong Theresa convinces the parchment-makers’ guild to test her. If she passes, it means access to her beloved manuscripts and nothing less than true independence. But as she treats the skins before an audience of jeering workmen, unimaginable tragedy strikes—tearing apart Theresa’s family and setting in motion a cascade of mysteries that Theresa must solve if she hopes to stay alive and save her family.

A fugitive in the wilderness, Theresa is forced to rely on her bravery, her uncommon education, and the compassion of strangers. When she encounters Alcuin of York, a wise and influential monk with close ties to Charlemagne, she believes her luck might have finally changed. But the biggest secret lies between Charlemagne and her father. Theresa moves ever closer to the truth, bent on reuniting with her beloved father, only to discover that her family’s troubles are inextricably entwined with nothing less than the fate of an empire.

"Antonio Garrido perfectly reflects the world and the medieval society from every single point of view. [...] The author combines these elements and real characters with the purest fiction in order to achieve a formidable plot where nothing is what it seems and with a surprising and exciting climax." Todo Literatura


  • 2001 - Premio Internacional de Novela Histórica Ciudad de Zaragoza for El lector de cadáveres
  • 2001 - Griffe Noire prize for the Best Foreign Historical Novel published in France for El lector de cadáveres
  • 2010 - Prix des Lecteurs Sélection 2010 du Livre de Poche for La escriba
  • 2015 - Premio de Novela Fernando Lara for El último paraíso