As the months went by, Cí learned to tell the differences between accidental wounds and those brought about in an attempt to kill; among the incisions made by hatchets and daggers, kitchen knives, machetes and swords; between a murder and a suicide.
Cí, a young scholar-turned-gravedigger in medieval China, has survived enough horrors and pain to last several lifetimes. He finally has the chance to return to his studies - only to receive orders from the Imperial Court to find the sadistic perpetrator of a series of brutal murders. With lives in jeopardy, Cí finds his gruesome investigation complicated by his old loyalties - and by his growing desire for the enigmatic beauty haunting his thoughts. Is he skilled enough to track down the murderer? Or will the killer claim him first?
©2011 Antonio Garrido (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
More corpse reading and less of the string of unbelievable calamities that seem to beset the protagonist. Also, he is by turns quite clever in haggling and dealing with commerce, and impossibly naive in dealing with everything else. It almost felt like reading one of those horrible gothic novels from the nineteenth century. He nearly entered the 'too stupid to live' category.
The reader was the best part of the book, doing various voices and using a trace of a Chinese accent. One nit I will pick, is that he mispronounced the word 'ochre', using a soft ch, as in 'cherry'.
If you can manage to wade through the first six hours or so of one calamity after another because the lead character is an idiot, it starts to get more interesting when he starts doing forensics, although I never really liked the lead character. Since it's set in medieval China there's a lot of violence and mistreatment of people. If you're accused of a crime you can't be sentenced until you confess and they beat you until you finally confess.
The narrator was the best part of the book.
Probably not. This book just wasn't my preference.
I might recommend to those I know prefer mysteries and/or thrillers, and have more tolerance for slow pacing. I prefer faster pacing and/or more focus on science.
As mentioned, this book wasn't to my taste. I listened to the first part, and just couldn't bring myself to start the second part. I think I had a problem with the pacing of the character development: the main character spends too much time being passive, and the pace of his "coming out of his shell" is too slow for my taste. The pacing may have been forgiven if there were more focus on the unique aspects of the book (such as forensic science cast in light of the time frame and culture).
The narrator was fine -- not spectacular, but didn't get in the way of the book, either.
I may revisit this book if I run out of other things to listen to, but for now my queue of new books is too long to spend time on this one.
a character who was not a total idiot
yes. the reader was acceptable, but the story was so poor I did not finish the book.
The scene where the main character decides he has to save his brother who tyrannized him and who committed murder (we only LATER learn he questioned the story. Initially, it is only said that the main character wants to save his brother, which is unbelievable.). Most of the story is not believable. If the hero believed his brother innocent, then saying so as a reason for him trying to save his brother might make sense. Saying this as an afterthought just makes the story not credible. I've read the Judge Dee stories and they are excellent. This is just pathetic.
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