El lector de cadáveres / The Corpse Reader
Novel , 2011
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