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Stories from the morgue

Updated: 2012-12-26 09:16
By Pu Zhendong (China Daily)

His stories come from daily contact with cadavers, but his empathy with them has inspired his best selling novel. Pu Zhendong talks to forensic scientist Qin Ming.

Qin Ming listens to the dead, and he hears their stories. Now, he has translated the tales into a best-selling crime thriller that has topped China's Amazon and sold about 50,000 copies in just two months.

Stories from the morgue

Qin Ming with his novel Voice of the Dead.

His debut novel, Voice of the Dead, is a collection of 20 enthralling criminal investigations from his seven years working in forensics. Qin joined the forensics team under Anhui province's public security bureau in 2005 after earning his degrees on forensic medicine at Wannan Medical College in 2003, and the China Criminal Police University in 2005.

In the book, the protagonist takes Qin's name, mostly referred to as Lao Qin in the stories.

White scrubs on and scalpel in hand, Lao Qin spends his days with his colleagues in the morgue or at crime scenes, doing autopsies and searching for the truth.

"Every deduction detail in the book is based on real cases," Qin says. "I may have mixed elements of different cases in one story, but they are all rooted in reality."

The honesty in his writing has earned Qin respect from Jiang Zhenyu, TV celebrity and lecturer at the China University of Political Science and Law. Jiang wrote the preface for Qin's book, saying: "Through these real case stories fused with professional knowledge and investigative wisdom, one sees the righteousness and optimism of the forensic work."

The book first appeared on shop shelves in late September and became an instant hit. It topped the October bestseller list on Amazon China, and the publisher, CS-Booky, says the book will be distributed in Taiwan, and in South Korea soon.

What appeals to readers is that Voice of the Dead is no ordinary thriller.

Zhang Nan, a female reader from Henan province, says: "What fascinates me, apart from the stories, is the author's aversion to crime and injustice."

But experts point out the imperfections about Qin's first novel.

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