There is something about Japanese stories that always attract me to it. I love watching Japanese dramas and reading novels by Japanese writers. There some kind of a tranquillity that these stories offer and that is what makes it so appealing to me. I have read tonnes of love stories in my life but never have I read a love story that would be so chilling. Just how far can a man go to ensure the safety of the woman he loves? This book shook me to the core. By the end of the book, I did not know if I should applaud the lead characters or feel pity for them.
The Devotion of Suspect X (Detective Galileo #3) by Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
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 neighbour, 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 outmanoeuvring and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.
(Description Courtesy: Goodreads.com)
Points I Liked About The Devotion of Suspect X
Narration: I started reading the book thinking I would be scratching my brains over a ‘whodunnit’ scenario (I bought this book on someone’s recommendation so was not aware of the plot) but that does not happen with this book. The murder happens in the first two chapters itself with the identity of the killer clearly revealed. The rest of the book is dedicated to the cover-up of the crime. Japanese novels are generally slow and detail-oriented which at times makes me impatient. This book too is slow but it is equally gripping. Despite knowing the killer, I was on tenterhooks after every chapter wondering what could happen next. That is the USP of this writer. There are very few characters in the story and all of them are well-conceived. At no point did I feel that the writing was getting too slow or clumsy. The tone and pace of the novel were perfect to make this novel a ‘must-read’.
Final Twist: Just when I thought everything was clear from the start and was waiting for an obvious ending, the final twist blew me away. Even when things were clear for the readers, the writer threw a final curveball that caught me off guard as I never remotely suspected of being confronted by such a scenario. I will not talk much about the climax and spoil it for those who have not read the book. But take my word and do not think that you have it all right before you. There is something you might not have seen coming.
Points I Did Not Like About The Devotion of Suspect X
Nothing. For me this book was unputdownable and I was unable to find any flaw in it.
Final View: I have never been so high on a suspense novel before. The Devotion of Suspect X is an engrossing tale testing the limits of unconditional love for someone. Read this when you have a day off because there is no way you would want to part away from it once you start reading it.