[Exclusive] Excerpt: Antonio Garrido’s ‘The Corpse Reader’


Antonio Garrido’s award-winning novel, The Corpse Reader, is set for release on May 28th in both print and ebook format. The novel is inspired by Song Cí, who was considered to be the founding father of CSI-style forensic science, and is set in thirteenth-century China. In the novel, Cí Song and his family have left the city, where his father was a comfortable bureaucrat, in order to mourn for his grandfather. Song Dynasty China has many opportunities for an intelligent student to succeed in the exams and have a successful career in the government, but Cí has to leave his law studies for the hard manual labor of his brother’s farm. However, Cí’s life takes an unexpected turn in the following excerpt, leading to his tumultuous career as a “corpse reader,” an early forensic scientist.

More on the novel:

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 is 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 Song Dynasty draws readers into a multilayered, ingenious plot as disturbing as it is fascinating.

With THE CORPSE READER (AmazonCrossing; May 28, 2013; $14.95/Trade Paperback Original; $9.99/E-book) Antonio Garrido has created something more than a thriller, more than a crime story; THE CORPSE READER is the story of a young man who fights for the honor of his family, for the truth, and for himself.