Comments (20)Add a Comment
Clever. Clever. Clever. Great read. Very unusual whodunit. This is the second book I have read from this author and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately not many of his books have been translated.
Absolutely loved it. Any mystery novel has usually Who/Why/Where/When/How questions to be answered. In Keigo Higashino's novel, we usually know all the answers to "W" questions. We know who / why / where /when. We just don't know How and usually it seems impossible but we just can't see it. The beauty of the book is its simplicity. Very few characters not too intricate plot line and will definitely keep you engaged till the end. I so wish I had read this book earlier. Hopefully there are more of Higashino's Japanese books translated to English.
An absolutely superb tale, I wish I could read it in the original Japanese. Occurring in modern times but definitely with a very ancient flavor. Best read at one sitting.
Pick a day when you have plenty of free time as you will not want to put this mystery down. You may find yourself rooting for the "guilty" party, but the ending will shock you.
"Ishigami is a lonely Japanese maths teacher infatuated with his next-door neighbour Yasuko, a lovely woman who has killed her deadbeat ex-husband to protect her daughter. Not only does Ishigami help her dispose of the body, he also devises a clever cover story for her when the police begin to investigate. But problems build as the involvement of an old colleague threatens to destabilise both Ishigami's ability to counter every police move and his plans for himself and Yasuko, who begins to break down - and pull away. A bestseller and prize-winner in Japan, this is Keigo Higashino's first novel to be translated into English; the second is Salvation of a Saint." Thrillers and Suspense August 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=664508
Areal labyrinthian plot . . .almost Holmesian with an astounding ending. This is what I thought at first; then, did it have to be such a puzzle? Good atmosphere of Tokyo compared to the first one I read.
I wish there were more of Higashino's books translated to English. This was the most original mystery I've read in a long time.
I loved this book. Will read more by this author if available in English. Reminded me of Mouse Trap or some of the Columbo movies -- the focus is the puzzle, the "fencing" between police and suspects.
Quiet. Cerebral. But relatively simple. Few characters. But charming. We come to care about several of the characters.(Richibi's review -below- has missed the point !)
You just think you know what is going on! In the first few pages your have the murderer, the victim, the deceit and now you have to figure out the "why" and how it all comes together. Written by renowned Japanese mystery writes: Keigo Hagashino, this translation keeps you stunned with each revelation. Great mental exercise with many moving jolts to your emotions as well. Read attentively and, if you can, in one or two sessions. To keep the characters clearly in my mind, I made a small sketch of the characters,
their relationships and occupations. It helped. Enjoy!
made-to-measure characters in a paint-by-number plot, all of them, all of it, improbable, as is also the absurd "surprise" ending, which is nothing but high, over-the-top, melodrama, everything about as bloodless as a sudoku, try a sudoku, all head, no heart
A truly surprising twist ending unravels in this novel. The story is captivating because we want to know if Ishigami's plan will work to the very end to protect Yasuko and her daughter. It wasn't a nail-biter, but it gets points for a most unexpected plot.
The Devotion of Suspect X, turns the classic mystery story onto its ear.
This is a variation of the P=NP problem, and the basis of the story. What is more difficult? To solve a scientific problem oneself from scratch, or to work through and verify someone's thesis of the problem? As the intensity builds, so will your hope that it will never be solved.
The story pits two genius friends-of-sorts, back in their old university days in Japan, as one, a math genius, tries to hide the murder and the other, a physics genius, tries to help the police detectives investigate the murder. The math genius creates all the subterfuge and diversions to protect his neighbour and daughter, while secretly craving said neighbour. The physics genius tries to deconstruct the murder into smaller elements that can be analysed and solved, while reluctantly hoping not to solve it. Should justice prevail or should it be loosened a bit for just these circumstances?
We know from the start what has happened, who dies, why, when, and how. But, the core of the story is what was done to conceal the murder with as many false leads as possible for the police to uncover. Between the murder and the unravelling of it, as each level is peeled back, and more revelations and insight into the enigma, the story winds and tightens into a clever, well-written and superb mystery.
The ending will leave you breathless and exhausted for the "hero".
Readers not already familiar with Japanese classic mystery novels may find The Devotion of Suspect X slightly difficult. The crime is committed at the beginning and we know who did it and why. And the language is very formal, seeming a bit stiff. But those who’ve read works by Japanese masters such as Seicho Matsumoto (Points and Lines) understand that this is all part of the artistry of the Japanese style, and it grows on you as the novel proceeds.
Here, the killer is a battered wife who, to save her child, kills her abusive ex-husband. Her neighbour, a mathematics instructor, comes to her aid, helping to dispose of the body and constructing an unbreakable alibi. The police investigator is convinced of the wife’s guilt, but can’t prove it. Along comes a brilliant physicist used to mathematical puzzles, and what ensues is a cat-and-mouse chase among the clues. Clever and intriguing, with enough twists for a whole series of plots.