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The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312375069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312375065
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

One of Japan’s best-selling crime novelists makes his American debut in an atmospheric thriller about a desperate woman, Yasuko, who, craving a peacefull life with her daughter, Misato, kills her abusive lout of an ex-husband. The next-door neighbor, Ishigami, helps hide the body and improvises a cover-up. When the body is eventually found, however, determined investigator Kusanagi, with the help of Dr. Yukawa, a physicist who knew Ishigami in college, senses that something is amiss with Yasuko’s story. A cat-and-mouse, Dostoevsky-like investigation ensues. Higashino explores just how far a relationship built on a terrible event can last. Suggest to readers familiar with Natsuo Kirino (Real World, 2008), another Japanese master of psychological crime fiction, and Karin Fossum, whose Norway-set thrillers are also drenched in psychological terror. --Jessica Moyer

Review

“Higashino won Japan’s Naoki Prize for Best Novel with this stunning thriller about miscarried human devotion, a bestseller in Japan. The author successfully combines unquestionable reasoning with unquenchable pain. In this brutally laconic translation, cold logic battles warm hearts throughout this elegant proof of the wages of sin, in which everyone suffers and no one can ever win.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
"Winner of Japan’s prestigious Naoki Prize and a bestseller there with more than two million copies sold, this literary psychological thriller is a subtle and shifting murder mystery. It will make readers redefine devotion and trust in an otherwise complete stranger.” --Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Veteran police detective matches wits with a brilliant rookie criminal. This character-driven mystery by the prolific Higashino has much to recommend, including a droll Columbo-like sleuth and a great surprise ending.” --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
"In The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino weaves a web of intellectual gamesmanship in which the truth is a weapon that leads both police and readers astray.  The ingenius conclusion is so unexpected that it's difficult to imagine anyone seeing it coming. Smart, smart characters." --Jaqueline Winspear
 
"How could we have ever imagined, without the help of a novel like this, that Japanese life could be so fraught with suffering and so entertaining all at once?” --Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News on HIMITSU (The Secret), published as NAOKO in the U.S.
 
“Higashino is a deft conjurer of human relationships, and while this is first and foremost a tale of grief— —he infuses it with spasms of sharp humor.” --East Bay Express on Himitsu (The Secret)

The Devotion of Suspect X has all the brilliant intricacy of the best Golden Age mysteries - puzzle within puzzle, twist after twist - with a modern sensibility.  It is a wonderful, fresh take on the classic mystery's intellectual struggle between protagonist and antagonist, adds to it all the right amounts of tension and pacing, places it in a fascinating setting, and gives of all of this plenty of heart." --Jan Burke, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author of Kidnapped and Bones

"Japanese crime writers excel at many things: one is the slow tightening of the noose that's at the fast-pounding heart of the police procedural.  The Devotion of Suspect X  is a terrific book in that tradition and it's about time American readers got a crack at it." --SJ Rozan, Edgar Award winning author of Winter and Night and On the Line

“The Devotion of Suspect X is elegant and spare and gripping and vivid. Most of all, however, it is deeply moving, and this is what sets it apart!” --Jesse Kellerman, bestselling author of Trouble and The Executor

"Irresistible! A mind-twisting story that will have readers plunging in to try to solve the crime before the math genius, the physics professor, or the cop get there first." --Nancy Pickard, New York Times bestselling author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning and The Virgin of Small Plains

 

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Customer Reviews

Interesting characters, a very clever plot, well written and presumably well translated.
G K James
That is not to say that such a book is not enjoyable to read, but there is really nothing about it which sticks in the mind once you have finished it.
Brett H
The ending is surprising as well as haunting and makes up for some of the slowness in the middle of the book.
CJ-MO

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Denise Crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a very clever mystery novel originally written in Japanese and translated into English and is this author's first major English publication. Apparently this novel is a continuation of a popular serial drama, Galileo, and has also been made into a Japanese film, Suspect-X that was released in 2008. The recurring character in the series is Manabu Yukawa, a brilliant physics professor at Imperial University who is respectfully called Detective Galileo. He assists the local police sometimes with particularly vexsome cases, and this murder is one of those.

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced mother working in a box lunch shop. She left her old life as a hostess behind and is trying to live a quiet existence while raising her teenage daughter, Misato. Unfortunately for her, she has a deadbeat ex-husband who is looking for her and who wants to get back together and who wants money. When he comes to extort her and threatens to harm her daughter at her apartment on that fateful evening, she and her daughter murder Shinji Togashi. Overhearing the scuffle, next door neighbor -- a mathematics teacher named Tetsuya Ishigami -- comes to her door and offers Yasuko total salvation. He tells her that he will take care of everything and will help them avoid prosecution and imprisonment if only they do exactly as he says.

Although the lead detectives on the case suspect that the alibis of Yasuko and Misato aren't quite ironclad, police are confused about whether or not they are truly suspects in the murder. With fantastic misdirection and precise circumlocution directed behind the scenes by Ishigami, the pair are continuing their daily lives as if innocent.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By SD VINE VOICE on February 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Too bad I read it in January.

By the end of the first chapter, you will already know who did it and how. That's not why The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino is a compulsive page-turner. This is not a run of the mill whodunit nor an elaborately staged mystery. When you get to the end, when you race to the end, you'll slap your head like I did and realize how simple, but brilliant the story is.

"'...you science types all seem to say the same things.'

'What do you mean?'

'When I visited him, Ishigami said something a lot like what you said just now.' Kusanagi told his friend about Ishigami's mathematics test.

'Blind spots due to assumptions, eh? How like him.' Yukawa grinned. But the next moment, the physicist's expression changed. Suddenly he stood, and clutching his head in his hands, he walked over to the window...

'Hey, Yukawa?...'

'Impossible," Yukawa muttered. 'There's no way he could have...'"

So there's a little bit of science and math in here - after all, a physicist and mathematician are pitted against one another. But it's not some DaVinci Code with math or anything like that. The premise is that the murder has been laid out by Ishigami much like a mathematical proof, luring the police detectives and the physicist into solving it the way he would want them to - but that's all I'm going to say because I don't want to divulge too much.

I'm not sure if I've ever read a book where I rooted for the "bad guys" as much as I did here. But that's just the thing - the murderer and her unexpected accomplice aren't evil at all; they were just caught in an impossible situation. Will they get away with it or will the suspicious physicist figure it all out?
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Devotion of Suspect X is a different kind of crime novel. It isn't a whodunit: we learn in the opening pages that Yasuko kills her ex-husband, Togashi. Nor is the manner or motive of the killing a mystery: Togashi's aggressive behavior toward Yasuko and her daughter, and Yasuko's strangulation of Togashi with her daughter's assistance, are vividly described. For much of the novel, The Devotion of Suspect X seems like a police procedural combined with a detective story. The role of private detective is played by a physicist, Yukawa, who happens to be a good friend of the investigating police officer, Kusanagi. Yukawa also happens to be an old classmate of Yasuko's neighbor, a mathematician named Ishigami, who assisted Yasuko in the aftermath of the killing. Initially, the mystery surrounds the body that turns up days later -- with a pulped face and charred fingertips -- and whether Ishigami's scheme to keep the police from proving Yasuko's complicity will be successful. Yet about two-thirds of the way through the novel, the plot takes a sharp turn, and a new mystery emerges: Why is Suspect X doing something so completely unexpected?

I enjoyed The Devotion of Suspect X. Keigo Higashino's writing style (or perhaps the translator's) is straightforward; the prose doesn't soar but neither does it distract. The novel is tightly constructed; there's nothing in it that doesn't need to be there. Yasuko is a remarkably bland character (given that she's a killer) but the Buddha-like Ishigami and his friend Yukawa are interesting and their battle of wits brings the story to life. Ishigami's interaction with Kusanagi (another bland character) is less interesting but it serves to advance the plot.
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