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The Corpse Reader Kindle Edition
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|Length: 494 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The brother is tortured and killed in custody; the hero's parents' house is burned down with them in it; the family savings are stolen; the local bigwig wants the family's land so the protag must flee with his sickly little sister with only some some rice, ham and a few coins to his name; the protag convinces a boat captain to grant them passage and when he's left to guard the boat he's drugged by a prostitute and the boat is stolen---with his sister still on it; and the last bit I read saw the prostitute threatening to throw the sickly little sister into the disease-ridden river unless everyone else on the boat gives her all their money and belongings. Cripes, I didn't sign up for a tragedy!
I'm just not willing to keep on being bummed out by these overlong and needless misadventures indefinitely in the hopes that when the author finally gets back to the forensic science plotline, it will have been worth the depressing (yet still kind of boring) wait.
This is Sr Garrida’s first novel and like the second “The Scribe” a central character,was real as, Cí Song made very important contributions to what became Forensic Science. In fact his 13th century books on criminal investigation were not equalled in the West until Herr Gross of Vienna published his “Criminal Investigation” towards the end of the 19th century.
Not much is known about the life of Cí Song and this excellent book, translated from the Spanish, is largely fictitious, allowing for that it is a great read. I must however warn potential readers of a squeamish bent it is very gruesome at times starting with first few pages.
Young Cí’s future in the city now known as Hangzhou seems promising, his father is a high ranking official and his chief becomes mentor to the promising boy. University entrance is guaranteed then disaster strikes .The grandfather dies in their village of origin and Dad must quit his post to take over the properties. Cï must now work the land under the domination of his brutal elder brother.
A gory murder in the village is investigated and the elder brother accused , arrested, and sentenced to death. We here get an insight into China’s mediaeval system of justice. A chain of disasters has Cí fleeing back to the city with his sickly 8 year old sister and here he displays his talents for determining how corpses, both fresh and decayed, met their ends. His technique for coping with the latter is still used in morgues today.
Called into the Emperor’s presence to investigate murders in the royal court his future seems assured but yet again things do not turn out well. What happens ? Read the book.
Sr Garrida is to be commended for simplifying complex Chinese names which greatly helps the reader. The book closes with a glossary that alone is worth its low price, containing as it does much information on Chinese Alchemy, Medicine, Religions, Legal system, Education, Criminal trials and punishments, Dress, Foods, the list goes ever on and on.If you can handle detailed descriptions of corpses, many days old, and ancient tortures this is a very worthwhile book from any aspect. I look forward to more translations of Garrida’s work
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