Winner of the prestigious Naoki Prize for Best Novel the equivalent of the National Book Award.
Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko's next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.
When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko's manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there's something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.
"Starred Review. 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. 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. The Devotion of Suspect X will make readers redefine devotion and trust in an otherwise complete stranger." - Library Journal
"Starred Review. This character-driven mystery by the prolific Higashino has much to recommend it, including a droll Columbo-like sleuth and a great surprise ending." - Kirkus Reviews
"What's in an alibi? 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 ingenious conclusion is so unexpected that is difficult to imagine anyone seeing it coming. Smart, smart characters." - Jacqueline Winspear, New York Times bestselling author of Maisie Dobbs Mystery series, including The Mapping of Love and Death
"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 - enough to make me hope we haven't seen the last of Yukawa and Kusanagi." - 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 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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Rated of 5
Rachel B. (Waynetown, IN)
Twists and turns to a dramatic end
I very much enjoyed this book, and will be recommending it to my book club primarily because so often in the story the sense of what is right and fair is distorted by sympathy for Ishigami and Yasuko, even when in hindsight it would be completely unjust for things to turn out the way they would have liked. I appreciate that not only is the big picture spectacular at the very end, but also that once the whole of events is revealed I found myself remembering little glimpses all along the way that lent validation to the final chapters. Very well thought-out and much potential for group discussion.
Rated of 5
Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA)
A stew of elements
I collect mystery/espionage set in other countries and find this a backdoor into other cultures. The Devotion of Suspect X did not disappoint. And it has the added element of the mathematical puzzlement to add suspense.
Rated of 5
Nikki R. (Irvine, CA)
Misplaced Devotion ?
Having grown up in Gardena, CA post WWll the Japanese culture was very familiar to me. I fell under the spell of this book quickly and virtually clipped from page to page. The writing started out a bit stilted, but with the quickly developed plot and twists it soon didn't matter. It's all here; love, loyalty, dishonesty, guilt, regret, and of course murder. Would love to see this as a movie! If I have any complaint the ending felt like I hit a wall. It wasn't very satisfying.
Rated of 5
Mary O. (Boston, MA)
This is truly a murder mystery or "whodunit" page turner! It is an engrossing read where you don't want to take a break when you are reading it. This book continues to haunt you after you finish the last page. It is a book about love, blind devotion, sacrifice, truth and justice. With some surprising twists and turns, the question remains "does justice prevail?"
Rated of 5
Lee M. (Creve Coeur, MO)
The Devotion of Suspect X
Keigo Higashino has written a twist on the usual murder mystery. This not a ‘who done it’ as the reader is told who, when, and why in the beginning. How the murderer is hidden from the police is slowly and cleverly laid out by the author in an amazing mind duel by two old mathematical school acquaintances
Rated of 5
Amy H. (Benbrook, TX)
I was pleasantly surprised!
I really enjoyed this book! It was a well-written book by a Japanese author - evidently the book was released in Japan in 2005 but has only recently been translated to English and is scheduled to be released in February 2011 in the US. Evidently this author is the Japanese version of "James Patterson" so I was interested to read it. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! After I established some familiarity with the Japanese names (which was a little difficult for me), the story fell together. Wonderful plot development at a pace just quick enough to keep me interested, but not so fast as to be rushed or unrealistic. There's a huge twist at the end that I never expected, and I will definitely be looking for other books by this author! (In English, of course).
Keigo Higashino is currently the bestselling author in Japan with over three dozen bestsellers, hundreds of millions of copies of his books sold worldwide, and nearly twenty films and television series based on his work. He won the Naoki Prize for his first novel featuring Detective Galileo. He lives in Tokyo.
Alexander O. Smith has translated a wide variety of novels, manga, and video games, for which he has been nominated for the Eisner Award, and won the ALA's Batchelder Award. He studied at Dartmouth College and holds an M.A. in Classical Japanese from Harvard University. He lives in Vermont.
Keigo Higashino: ke-ee-go hee-ga-shee-no
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