By: Antonio Garrido
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.
My wife and I used to watch CSI:Las Vegas all the time. They moved the day that it played and it conflicted with something else that we had going on, and we fell out of the loop. But, we loved the show. We still occasionally pick up replays every once in a while. Needless to say, when I was sent The Corpse Reader, with the explanation that it was a story about Song Ci, the Chinese official widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of the modern CSI methods, I was pretty excited about reading it.
Unfortunately, it almost falls down on that part. While there’s plenty in the book on his methods, and some cases to prove them, it’s short on any real explanation on how he came about getting the methods. Instead, it’s almost written off as some sort of hyper-observational skill. That aside, it’s still a good book.
It’s got a good mix of fictional work intermixed with some historical facts that give the story a bit of credence. The characters are well thought out, and play well with (and against) each other. The book was originally written in Gariddo’s native Spanish, and translated for English readers. The translation makes it a bit hard to judge the actual writing of the author, as it’s always an unknown just how much the translation changed the original work. The story and plot flow well, though, so I’m guessing the translation is a pretty good one.
Despite some small (I feel like I’m being nitpicky) issues, the book is a good one. Having just read River of Stars, it was somewhat interesting to see some of the same elements in this book. Overall, the story is a good one, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this book on several “best of” lists at the end of the year.
Pick up a copy of The Corpse Reader on Amazon