This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.
Here are my first lines:
Shang didn’t know death was coming for him until he tasted the blood spurting up into his throat. He covered the wound with his hands to try to stem the bleeding. He tried to speak, too, but before he could make a sound, his eyes opened wide and his legs crumpled beneath him like a worn-out marionette’s. If he could have uttered the words, he would have spoken his killer’s name, but the blood in his throat, along with the cloth the killer had stuffed into his mouth, prevented him.
Do you recognize these first lines?
And the book is… The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido.
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.
Garrido’s The Corpse Reader, a fictionalized account of the early life of Song Cí, the Chinese founding father of forensic science, received the Zaragoza International Prize (Premio Internacional de Novela Histórica Ciudad de Zaragoza) for best historical novel published in Spain. His work has been translated into eighteen languages.
I’m looking forward to reading this historical fiction thriller.