Broadcast:- Dear Blog Adda, an awesome place in the Internetz, thank you for considering me as a reviewer. Sorry this one got delayed.Title:- The Devotion of Suspect X
Author:- Keigo HigashinoPublished by:- Minotaur Books.Year of Publication:- 2011 (First Edition)Number of Pages:- 304Genre:- Fiction, Crime, Suspense
The 2005 novel by Keigo Higashino has sold over 2 million copies in Japan, is labeled now as the ‘Japanese Steig Larsson’ and has been compared to the Millennium Trilogy. The mystery is in the reconstruction of the crime scene. It is not a whodunit story since the murder happens right in the beginning of the plot in front of our eyes. A terrified single mother, Yasuko and her daughter, Misato in an attempt to escape the persistent threat of her husband, kill him in a fit of rage. When the deed is done, Yasuko decides to give herself up, so that she is able to save her daughter. At that moment, genius mathematician Ishigami, and neighbor and secretly in love with Yasuko, enters their life and brilliantly covers the crime up. He also creates the perfect alibi for Yasuko and Misato carefully. Incorrect leads, that knack of Yukawa to solve problems, battle of wits between a mathematician and a physicist, all contribute to an enjoyable murder mystery. The book fails to generate disinterest at any point of time, which is amazing.
When the police begin their investigation, they are sent off in a wrong trail, as was planned by Ishigami. The plot takes an interesting turn when Ishigami’s former classmate Yukawa, a Physicist with a keen power of observation and a knack for solving problems begins to take an interest in the case and tries to solve the unsolvable problem that Ishigami has created.
The character of Ishigami, the mathematician, is very well sketched. His genius is well demonstrated and that makes him a formidable person when he draws up the plans. Yukawa, the physicist, on the other hand, is pretty loosely sketched. Except for the scenes when he tries to counter the mathematician’s arguments, he does not appear very impressive. The other characters just fill up the narration.
The characters are wonderfully, realistically drawn and yet kept semi-closed in a way that forces you to imagine what the protagonists must be going through and question their actions (or lack thereof) rather than doling it out on to the reader on a platter to just gobble. The story moves forward at a very comfortable speed except for the last three chapters which are pretty fast paced. The plot does not waver and remains focused. All the clues finally fall into place but quality deduction from the clues at hand, so essential for a good murder-mystery, is found lacking. The clues are logically connected but a stronger connection would have been better. The book is very deceptive in the sense that it throws up so many contradictions about the characters, the plot and the narrative itself. It reads like it is supposed to be a Japanese opera, but the writing is very devoid of emotion and settles itself for precisely formed adjectives that describe the details and nothing more.
Set up in Tokyo, this novel doesn’t give us the candy floss traditional side for a description. Keep that in mind when you read the book.Sign up for the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. and get free books! Participate now!