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The Devotion of Suspect X

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Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime...


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Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime...

30 review for The Devotion of Suspect X

  1. 4 out of 5

    carol.

    Both unusual and familiar, The Devotion of Suspect X is an unassuming mystery with an astonishing approach. It is a book that will toy with the very definition of the concept of 'spoilers:' it begins with a few hours in our main characters' daily routines, then quickly jumps into an emotional scene that results in murder. I admit that I was doubtful; how was I to stay interested in a mystery where I already knew the answers to the 'who-what-where-why-when?' But Hiashino is quite masterful, drafamiliar, Both unusual and familiar, The Devotion of Suspect X is an unassuming mystery with an astonishing approach. It is a book that will toy with the very definition of the concept of 'spoilers:' it begins with a few hours in our main characters' daily routines, then quickly jumps into an emotional scene that results in murder. I admit that I was doubtful; how was I to stay interested in a mystery where I already knew the answers to the 'who-what-where-why-when?' But Hiashino is quite masterful, drawing a veil over the disposition of the body. The reader is left in a unique position of knowing more than the police about where the investigation should end, but discovering clues with the police as they work backwards. The narrative follows both the police investigation and the viewpoint of the perpetrator(s), leaving me marveling at the chess game. Something in it puts me in mind of Agatha Christie, although it could be that she's just the one I always think of when it comes to non-gory murder and a more nuanced form of suspense. It is a book that is as much about characters and social protocols as much as mystery, but don't let that frighten you away. There's a distinct whiff of literary-fiction about this as well, a story that is also about the everyday lives and the future dreams of the characters. My complaints are very small; there was a preponderance of characters whose names began with 'K,' and I believe at least two had first and last names with 'K.' A switch from first to last name use depending on who was talking proved initially confusing and left me glad I could flip back a few pages. The ending... sigh. Appropriate, but leaving me ambivalent. The air of melancholy is too strong for me to want to add this to my library, thus the less than 5 stars. The fact that this was a best-seller in Japan left me bemused. According to the author's GR page, "The Devotion of Suspect X was the second highest selling book in all of Japan— fiction or nonfiction—the year it was published, with over 800,000 copies sold." I find this especially interesting when I think of the mysteries thrillers that routinely top American best-seller lists. This is almost the exact opposite kind of story, and for me, a far more fulfilling one. It leaves me curious to check out Higashino's other works. Four and a half bento boxes. Thanks to the Carols and Vivian for having left such thoughtful reviews that intrigued me enough to request it!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    The classic whodunit works by misdirection, same as a magic trick. As is the case with the magician, so with the mystery writer - the more the skill in the smoothness of execution, the more mystifying the trick seems. But unlike the magician (who never tells), the author tells everything in the end: as the clever detective reveals how the public have been duped by the villain, the reader is also equally dumbfounded. The success of the mystery is in direct proportion to the amount of mystificatio The classic whodunit works by misdirection, same as a magic trick. As is the case with the magician, so with the mystery writer - the more the skill in the smoothness of execution, the more mystifying the trick seems. But unlike the magician (who never tells), the author tells everything in the end: as the clever detective reveals how the public have been duped by the villain, the reader is also equally dumbfounded. The success of the mystery is in direct proportion to the amount of mystification. In this novel, Keigo Higashimo presents a clever variation. The murder happens during the first and second chapters, and we immediately know who committed it! Yasuko, a single mother living alone with her daughter is forced to kill her ex-husband in self-defence. When she plans to turn herself in, her neighbour Ishigami, a reclusive mathematical genius who is obsessed with her, prevents it. He concocts a seemingly unbreakable alibi for mother and daughter: however, unfortunately for Ishigami, the physicist and amateur sleuth Manabu Yukawa, his former classmate and genius of equal standing is on the case. What follows is a absorbing cat-and-mouse game between the two, with really devastating denouement. The core of the mystery is not new - I can remember the same plot device used in at least three more stories by other authors (no, I won't reveal which stories they are!). I should have seen the ending coming, but I was taken in by a simple ploy by the author. There is a big plot hole - the police immediately zeroing in on Yasuko and her daughter is unbelievable - but we can condone that in such a tightly written story. What fascinated me, and raised this book to four stars, was the tussle between the mathematician - who delights in creating insoluble puzzles - and the physicist interested in tweaking out nature's laws from her behaviour, and building mathematical models for the same. The P=NP problem - whether it is easier to work out a solution to problem by oneself, or to check whether another's solution for the same is correct or not - seems to me fascinating. ---------------------------------------- PS: I read this book because of the Malayalam blockbuster movie Drishyam ("Visual"), rumoured to be plagiarised from it. While the movie is in all probability inspired by this story, it is not a copy, and a refreshingly new take on the "unbreakable alibi".

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The Devotion of Suspect X is a must-read for anyone who appreciates police procedurals, mysteries, math, Japan, literature . . . I could go on. The Devotion of Suspect X is the third in the Detective Galileo series, but I didn't once have the impression that I lacked background or relationship information gleaned from the initial 2 books. In fact, there were no references to prior cases or mysteries to suggest that earlier books existed. If not for the publishers blurbs on the book, I'd not have The Devotion of Suspect X is a must-read for anyone who appreciates police procedurals, mysteries, math, Japan, literature . . . I could go on. The Devotion of Suspect X is the third in the Detective Galileo series, but I didn't once have the impression that I lacked background or relationship information gleaned from the initial 2 books. In fact, there were no references to prior cases or mysteries to suggest that earlier books existed. If not for the publishers blurbs on the book, I'd not have guessed they did. So why is The Devotion of Suspect X an excellent read? 1. The lead detective, Kusanagi, is a normal, standard, by-the-book, thoughtful, straight arrow. What distinguishes this novel from other police procedurals is Kusanagi's friend, Yukawa, a physicist. Yukawa solves the mystery and cares deeply about the outcome. Because .... 2. Ishigami, a high school math teacher whose brilliance and devotion to math are here allocated to assisting his ordinary, likable next door neighbor in covering up a murder, by employing masterful misdirection to focus the police on time-wasting, unimportant questions and issues. His efforts to motivate apathetic high school students won my respect and, at the same time, my pity. Otherwise, he's not an easy character to get to know or to feel anything about, except that Yukawa's concern for him makes the reader care. Nonetheless you respect his genius. 3. The ending is one of the best I've ever read. The mystery is solved 20 pages before. It doesn't matter. There's many a thriller or mystery novelist who get an A+ for plot, but don't have a clue how to write a compelling ending. I read the last several paragraphs a few times over - they were just that good. 4. Japan. The style of this novel is insanely plot-driven and at the same time calm, quiet, methodical, and thoughtful. No screeching tires. No bickering between the detectives. No threatening with guns. In an alternative universe where Lee Child is raised and lives in Japan, this might be the series he'd have written instead of the Jack Reacher books (which I also love, for different reasons, and which are culturally and quintessentially American). Off to find my next Detective Galileo book....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Not only is THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X a multi-faceted cultural reading experience, but it also acutely complements the familiar psychological suspense/thriller/mystery genre by infusing Japanese philosophy. Keigo Higashino shrewdly and subtly induces the reader to contemplate the immeasurable complexities of the human psyche by questioning what motivates one human being to judge who is worthy of life, and who is not. Tetsuya Ishigami’s daily schedule is precisely what one would expect Not only is THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X a multi-faceted cultural reading experience, but it also acutely complements the familiar psychological suspense/thriller/mystery genre by infusing Japanese philosophy. Keigo Higashino shrewdly and subtly induces the reader to contemplate the immeasurable complexities of the human psyche by questioning what motivates one human being to judge who is worthy of life, and who is not. Tetsuya Ishigami’s daily schedule is precisely what one would expect of a Japanese mathematics’ teacher. His unsuccessful attempts to motivate visibly bored and apathetic students discourage Ishigami, and his one true passion of solving a complex mathematical formula, lies outside of the classroom within the confines of his small apartment. A barren life carved out of necessity dramatically changes when Yasuko and her daughter Misato introduce themselves as his new neighbors. He imagines a fantasy life with them, listening to mother and daughter through the thin apartment walls, and his daily walk to school includes a stop to purchase his boxed lunch at the small shop where Yasuko works. Within this fictitious context, Ishigami surprisingly exhibits a fierce desire to protect both mother and daughter, and so begins a bizarre tale that originates with the unexpected arrival of Yasuko’s nefarious ex-husband Togashi. To divulge the minute intricacies of this suspenseful tale would require *spoilers.* Ishigami’s masterful, methodical, and devious scheme demands a skillful exposé by the incongruous, yet highly likeable duo of Dr.Yukama and Detective Kusanagi, the intrepid investigators who are destined to unravel the shocking and mind-boggling conundrum. Imperial University graduates in different fields, Ishigami, Yukama and Kusanagi, seem equally matched; Ishigami, unappreciated mathematical master of a methodical crime committed to protect Yasuko and Misato, and Yukama, preeminent master of rare intuitive observations of human frailties, and Kusanagi, resolute advocate of justice match their unparalleled wits to a stunning unbelievable conclusion. The factual drama predominantly hinges on the intellectual “cat and mouse” chase between Ishigami, “Buddha” at University and Yukama, affectionately known as “Professor Galileo” by the police. Initially, the translation was a bit stilted, but once engrossed in the book, it was hardly noticeable. In addition to the utterly fascinating and distinctive premise, the cultural milieu depicted an informative contemporary view of Japanese life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Poonam

    This has been one of the top thrillers I have read this year and this story is like nothing I have ever read. I will talk more about this in my review. Firstly this is originally a Japanese novel and has been translated into English. The translation is done pretty well and the flow of the story is really good. Basic Plot: A crime is committed and then a plan is formed to cover-up the crime. "What they needed was a perfect defense based on perfect logic." What happens when the investigation is being done by a genius and the cover-up by a mastermind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rincey

    Wowwww I loved this so much. It was so great watching this puzzle come together. Watch my full review: https://youtu.be/_8bLtNauZyA

  7. 4 out of 5

    *TANYA*

    I have to say this book was a delight!! The plot was very good!! I had to google some stuff, lol, but I learned a few things I didn't know before this book. Thanks to my Goodreads friend, LaTonya for the recommendation.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rohit Enghakat

    What a fantastic book ! Brilliant plot narration by the author. One of the best books in the thriller genre I have read so far. It is about a murder and how the protagonist helps the culprit cover up the crime recreating the crime scene (not disclosing the details here). The climax is absolutely surprising and it definitely keeps the reader on tenterhooks. I wonder if the Hindi / Malayalam movie "Drishyam" was inspired by this book. Enjoyed this immensely !

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dyuti

    The Devotion of Suspect X is the third book of the 'Detective Galileo' series by the author Keigo Higashino. The reason why I believe it has managed to attain such popularity, is because the book has broken free from the shackles of the typical 'whodunnit' format. The author presents us with a greater challenge than wondering who the murderer is: he keeps us guessing about how the murder can be hidden, in order to make it a perfect crime. The premise of the story, as oft-repeated, is simple. Yasuko is a The Devotion of Suspect X is the third book of the 'Detective Galileo' series by the author Keigo Higashino. The reason why I believe it has managed to attain such popularity, is because the book has broken free from the shackles of the typical 'whodunnit' format. The author presents us with a greater challenge than wondering who the murderer is: he keeps us guessing about how the murder can be hidden, in order to make it a perfect crime. The premise of the story, as oft-repeated, is simple. Yasuko is a single mother to her teen-aged daughter Misato. She is frequently troubled by her ex-husband who reappears intermittently to extort money from her. One day, things go a little out of hand, and Yasuko, in a terrible fit of rage, ends up killing him. Her neighbor Ishigami, a high school maths teacher, comes to her rescue. He gives her the perfect alibi, with the perfect plan to cover up the murder. Investigating the murder is Detective Kusanagi, who finds himself drawn into one of his most puzzling cases. He can sense something is wrong, but can’t put his finger to it. Thus, he takes the help of his friend, Yukawa, a physist with a penchant to solve crimes, thus earning himself the title ‘Detective Galileo’. What follows next is the ensuing battle of wits between the two geniuses: Ishigami and Yukawa. As the story progresses, we are forced to wonder, in the author's own words,"Which is harder: devising an unsolvable problem, or solving that problem". I believe these two characters are the best sketched out, and they interested me the most. However, one down-side to the novel was the abysmally bad translation. The sentences were jerky, and the flavour of the book was destroyed by the limp sentences. So, it took me a while to ignore that and get drawn into the story. Also, towards the middle, it kind of did get a bit slow, and I wished there were some more twists or actions. On the whole it was quite an enjoyable read, but a few things were off the key which stopped me from loving it.However, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to all those who would like to savour something out of the ordinary, on a wintery or rainy night. 3.5 stars.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Idarah

    When the crime, perpetrator(s), and motive were revealed within the first few chapters, I was sure I would be in for an anticlimactic read. How would an author keep a reader interested for the remainder of the book?! Higashino succeeded, and in a phenomenal way, in that even when I thought I understood the basics that the investigation was based on, that plot twist at the end was like a slap in the face. You don't really realize that you're involved in a cat and mouse game until the end. I was t When the crime, perpetrator(s), and motive were revealed within the first few chapters, I was sure I would be in for an anticlimactic read. How would an author keep a reader interested for the remainder of the book?! Higashino succeeded, and in a phenomenal way, in that even when I thought I understood the basics that the investigation was based on, that plot twist at the end was like a slap in the face. You don't really realize that you're involved in a cat and mouse game until the end. I was told that going in, and it still didn't occur to me until after I finished. What a fitting title, too! I love it when everything comes together like that. Like butter!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abhinav

    Whoa! I finished reading the final 220 odd pages in less than 3 hours. That must be some kind of a personal best for me. All of the crime thrillers I had read before this had the same template of the classical whodunit, with a few alterations here & there. But it was always on me to try & guess the identity of the culprit until the end when the book finally provides the revelation. But what if you're already told 'who done it' in the first couple of chapters itself? Whoa! I finished reading the final 220 odd pages in less than 3 hours. That must be some kind of a personal best for me. All of the crime thrillers I had read before this had the same template of the classical whodunit, with a few alterations here & there. But it was always on me to try & guess the identity of the culprit until the end when the book finally provides the revelation. But what if you're already told 'who done it' in the first couple of chapters itself? Believe me, I thought that was the end of the book. I mean, how can a crime thriller be kept interesting when you already know who the killer is? After all, we're not expecting something like 'Crime and Punishment'. And that is perhaps the biggest achievement of Keigo Higashino's 'The Devotion of Suspect X', the first in the Detective Galileo series. This novel achieved cult status in Japan & sold more than 2 million copies while also being made into a successful screen adaptation. When I was done reading this, I could see why. The story starts off in a quiet neighbourhood of Tokyo where a single woman Yasuko & her daughter Misato are living peacefully. Their neighbour Ishigami is a talented mathematician who now works as a school teacher. When Yasuko's ex-husband turns up on her doorstep on a fateful night, a moment of indiscretion from both mother & daughter results in wheels being set in motion. Ishigami somehow gets involved in all this & the situation develops into something from which no one can turn back to living their normal lives. Think I somewhat spoiled it for you already? Be rest assured, I haven't revealed what forms the essence of the plot. What follows is a fascinating cat-and-mouse game between Ishigami & Manabu Yukawa, an assistant physics professor & an amateur sleuth also known as 'Detective Galileo'. This book is not as much about the consequences of the crime as it is about how the crime was done & the possible reasons of committing the crime from the investigating officer's point of view. You know already who is guilty, but there are still so many aspects that remain unclear, which draws the reader into the tale. There are also a few sub-plots - one of them being an old connection between Ishigami & Yukawa, which makes their conversations delightful to read as they talk science & mathematical logic. But the narrative perhaps emerges as the biggest winner in this novel. The unique approach could have gone all wrong if the narrative would not have been tightly-written & perfectly paced. Full marks to the author as well as the translator Alexander O. Smith who retain the interest of the reader till the end & render us an absolute page-turner. I also liked how themes like infatuation, platonic love & devotion (yeah, it's in the title itself) were explored throughout the course of the story. I'm going with 4 stars for 'The Devotion of Suspect X' by Keigo Higashino. This is my first brush with Japanese literature, and my appetite craves for more. Highly recommended for fans of international crime fiction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    Subtle, skillful, sad. & quite unlike anything else I have ever read. This made me think of two intelligent people playing a game of chess. Shogi is also known as Japanese Chess Impossible to review without spoilers, impossible to stop thinking about. Thanks to real life friend Peter for pressing this in my hands,last time I was in the library. Read it now.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jr Bacdayan

    Keigo Higashino: =) Translator: You want to read this? Mwahahahaha. Eat mah shit!!!!! Me: Meh. Hmmm..okay. Ohh it’s getting interesting. Ayt. Who the fuck translated this??! Ohhh well. Still pretty good. Awesome. What.the.fuck. Ahhh!!! Ahhhhh!!! Whoah really??? Ahhhhhhh!!!! * welp* Whewwww. Wow. Whyyyyyy. Wow!!! You: ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? {grade school review but I should probably click like for the effort}

  14. 4 out of 5

    Fiona MacDonald

    What can I say about this book. It's a cut above the rest when it comes to crime fiction. Higashino has created the most stunning story that merges mathematical problems with police procedure, and adds to it with eloquent prose, fascinating characters, and a twist at the end that will blow your socks off. A young woman is shocked one day to find her ex-husband at her door. Little does she know, she will be caught up in a mysterious whirlwind of suspicion where no one is who they really seem What can I say about this book. It's a cut above the rest when it comes to crime fiction. Higashino has created the most stunning story that merges mathematical problems with police procedure, and adds to it with eloquent prose, fascinating characters, and a twist at the end that will blow your socks off. A young woman is shocked one day to find her ex-husband at her door. Little does she know, she will be caught up in a mysterious whirlwind of suspicion where no one is who they really seem. For such a long book (over 400 pages which is long for me!) I managed to finish this in 2 sittings. I couldn't stand the fact that I might have to be torn away from the book in order to do menial things like eat and sleep. If this author's other books are this good then I will be adding them all to my shopping cart at top speed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Apoorva

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Devotion of Suspect X begins with Yasuko, a divorced mother who lives with her daughter Misato. Her abusive ex husband who's been exhorting money from her decides to show up at her place. Things go out of hand and Yasuko ends up killing him with the help of Misato. Her next door neighbor Ishigami, a high school math teacher, aware of the incident takes control of the situation and helps her get rid of the body and cover up the murder and provides instructions to them about what part to play. The Devotion of Suspect X begins with Yasuko, a divorced mother who lives with her daughter Misato. Her abusive ex husband who's been exhorting money from her decides to show up at her place. Things go out of hand and Yasuko ends up killing him with the help of Misato. Her next door neighbor Ishigami, a high school math teacher, aware of the incident takes control of the situation and helps her get rid of the body and cover up the murder and provides instructions to them about what part to play. This book is simply amazing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time wondering how it'll all turn out. It was such a delight to see two geniuses battling it out. We have Ishigami, a teacher obsessed with Maths who likes solving difficult problems and Yukawa, a physicist and his former colleague who's master of observation and assists police frequently in their investigations and is known as detective Galileo. We are presented with a mathematical conundrum: P = NP -whether it’s more difficult to think of the solution to a problem yourself or to ascertain if someone else’s answer to the same problem is correct. Ishimagi weaves an elaborate story of murder around him and presents the answer while it rests on Yukawa to figure it out. The brilliance of the book lies in it's simplicity. Ishigami likes designing problems in a way that takes advantage of the blind spot created by the person's assumption which tricks him. From the start we are presented with some information and we try to figure it out considering one possibility but in the end we find out that we fell into the trap. That's what Ishigami does and that's what the book does to you. I got the L and Kira vibes from it simply because of the way both were trying to outmaneuver each other. I felt really bad for Ishigami at the end cuz his plan fell apart in spite of him doing everything in his power to make it successful. I sympathized with him when I learnt the reason for his devotion. But all actions have consequences and this is no different. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book immensely. 'When an amateur attempts to conceal something, the more complex he makes his camouflage, the deeper the grave he digs for himself. But not so a genius. The genius does something far simpler, yet something no normal person would even dream of, the last thing a normal person would think of doing. And from this simplicity, immense complexity is created.’ Pretty much sums it up. If you're a fan of thriller, you should definitely read this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    L.A. Starks

    Perhaps a cultural mismatch for me: I found the pace of the book far too slow, the romantic element Victorian at best, and the idea of that brilliant physicists and mathematicians would be also brilliant in sleuthing unrealistic. The Japanese setting is interesting. The book has good twists at the end, but the plot takes way too long to get there.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leonard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When Yasuko Hanaoka’s ex-husband shows up to exhort money, she and her daughter kill him. Her neighbor Tetsuya Ishigami, a high school math teacher, volunteers to help dispose of the body and divert the police’s attention. What results is a scheme to deceive the police into solving the wrong crime. Sumida River in Tokyo (Photograph by Ian Muttoo) A dead body whose face is smashed to hide the identity shows up near the river and Detective Kusanagi must identify the murder and find the perpetrator. On rea When Yasuko Hanaoka’s ex-husband shows up to exhort money, she and her daughter kill him. Her neighbor Tetsuya Ishigami, a high school math teacher, volunteers to help dispose of the body and divert the police’s attention. What results is a scheme to deceive the police into solving the wrong crime. Sumida River in Tokyo (Photograph by Ian Muttoo) A dead body whose face is smashed to hide the identity shows up near the river and Detective Kusanagi must identify the murder and find the perpetrator. On reaching a dead end, he solicits his friend and schoolmate, physics professor Dr. Manabu Yukawa, to sift through the clues and red herrings. Thus, pinning the two masterminds against each other. Tokyo Metropolitan Police In The Devotion of Suspect X, Ishigami and Yukawa try to outwit each other in this cops and robbers game. What Yukawa couldn’t fathom is the depth in which Ishigami is willing to devote himself to and ultimately sacrifice for Yasuko. This mystery is among the handful of mystery novels whose plots surprise me. And though I wish the key characters have more depth, the plot more than compensates for that flaw and the sparse prose pushes the plot along without extraneous verbiage. Smart and powerful. I almost wish Ishigami could triumph over Yukawa. Keigo Higashino

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suzy

    3 1/2 stars I was excited that one of the mystery groups I belong to here on GR picked this as the June/July group read since the audio had been hanging around in my iPod for a couple of years. I had no idea of what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this, my first outing with a Japanese murder mystery. I especially liked the cerebral nature of the story where we follow a police detective and his physicist/ professor friend Dr. Yukawa, aka Professor Galile 3 1/2 stars I was excited that one of the mystery groups I belong to here on GR picked this as the June/July group read since the audio had been hanging around in my iPod for a couple of years. I had no idea of what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this, my first outing with a Japanese murder mystery. I especially liked the cerebral nature of the story where we follow a police detective and his physicist/ professor friend Dr. Yukawa, aka Professor Galileo, as they try to determine who killed the ex-husband of a sandwich shop clerk, Yasuko Hanaoka. We, the readers, know from almost the very beginning that she killed him and that her neighbor, a shy math teacher, offered to help dispose of the body. So for us, this isn't so much a whodunit as a story of will they get caught . . . will the police with the help of their friend Galileo, figure it out. And to add another layer, Galileo and the math teacher, Ishigami, went to school together and are both brainiacs! I loved the cat and mouse game of the police trying to figure this all out, and once Yasuko and her accomplice are suspected, trying to determine what they did and how to prove it. Galileo and Ishigami have a respect for each other's brain power, and I loved the conversations they had about constructing and solving difficult problems like this one. I did not figure out the solve, which slowly unfolded in a series of conversations, making this book a satisfyingly different read. Someone pointed out in our group discussion that in all Higashino's books, the victim is not a sympathetic character and the reader almost always is rooting for the perpetrators of the crime, something I don't think I've experienced before. This has whet my appetite for the next book in the series, Salvation of a Saint, which I've already downloaded. Well, the next book that has been translated, that is. There are eight books in this series in Japanese, but just three - 3, 5, and 6 - have been translated so far. Recommended!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Crime Addict Sifat

    This is my first Japanese Author that I tried. It had been a stunning read for me. I should admit, the story on occasion goes somewhat sensitive. By the way, this is an absolute "must read" top rated story which will thrill you right from the word go. As you begin turning the pages, you would become acquainted with Yasuko Hanoaka, a single parent who has needed to move to get away from her ex, at long last snaps when he appears at her new entryway. When she and her little girl coincid This is my first Japanese Author that I tried. It had been a stunning read for me. I should admit, the story on occasion goes somewhat sensitive. By the way, this is an absolute "must read" top rated story which will thrill you right from the word go. As you begin turning the pages, you would become acquainted with Yasuko Hanoaka, a single parent who has needed to move to get away from her ex, at long last snaps when he appears at her new entryway. When she and her little girl coincidentally murder him, Yasuko plans to hand herself over as the sole culprit to save her little girl. Enter gave neighbor Ishigami, a secondary school math educator equipped for making the ideal explanation: too secure to be in any way broken, deliberately intended to appear to be conceivable as opposed to devised. Ishigami puts his life hanging in the balance for Yasuko in light of the fact that he cherishes her. Until the definitely twisty arrangement of inversions toward the end, creator Keigo Higashino produces pressure stuffed with a great deal of tension. If you have this book on your TBR pile, don't wait anymore, make it your next read !!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tisha

    I never read any book of this writer before. But after finishing Suspect X, I felt I have to read his writings more often! It was AWESOME, SIMPLY AWESOME! If you are a lover of thriller or mystery, you have to read it! The plot was sooooooooo good! The twist in the last part was simply mind-blowing. It may seem like an ordinary murder case at the beginning. But when you continue reading, you will find out different aspects of this simple looking case and you just cannot guess the whole thing I never read any book of this writer before. But after finishing Suspect X, I felt I have to read his writings more often! It was AWESOME, SIMPLY AWESOME! If you are a lover of thriller or mystery, you have to read it! The plot was sooooooooo good! The twist in the last part was simply mind-blowing. It may seem like an ordinary murder case at the beginning. But when you continue reading, you will find out different aspects of this simple looking case and you just cannot guess the whole thing of your own. You will assume that these may have happened, but you will be wrong for sure! And for me, that is the beauty of a perfect thriller. Keigo Higashino has undoubtedly done an amazing job. *claps*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Antigone

    There is a murder. There is a suspect. There is a policeman. Yet in the brief space of a few fairly straight-forward chapters, these elements transform. The crime becomes a chessboard. The perpetrator turns to pieces of black, the lawman to pieces of white, as we pull back to meet the true players - two academics, friends from long ago, who find themselves facing off in a battle of wits. Everything here is deceptive, including the modest reserve with which Higashino relays his tale. T There is a murder. There is a suspect. There is a policeman. Yet in the brief space of a few fairly straight-forward chapters, these elements transform. The crime becomes a chessboard. The perpetrator turns to pieces of black, the lawman to pieces of white, as we pull back to meet the true players - two academics, friends from long ago, who find themselves facing off in a battle of wits. Everything here is deceptive, including the modest reserve with which Higashino relays his tale. Those sleeves of his are filled with tricks...and a single hidden heart.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Yoon

    Not a whodunit but rather a how to get away with it thriller. By the end of the first chapter Yasuko Hanoaka and her daughter Misato have killed Yasuko’s ex-husband Togashi. You could argue it was in self-defence but that’s not the point. Yasuko’s neighbor, the heavyset, round-faced Ishigami overhears the commotion and deduces their predicament. Clearly infatuated with Yasuko, he offers up his services in covering up the crime. "Trust me" he says, "Logical thinking will get us through this."

  23. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    'The Devotion of Suspect X', by Japanese author Keigo Higashino, is an amazing police procedural puzzler of a mystery! Not the crime itself - the murder victim and the murderer are revealed in the first chapter. It is during the investigations of the murder by two other characters after the murder that even more shocking discoveries are made. This book is best if read cold, without reading the cover blurbs or reviews. Either stop here, or if you must, gentle reader, I will continue.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    Wonderful. I rarely give out five stars, but this one earned it. My second book that I've read by Higashino and I love his writing. This one was even better than THE NAME OF THE GAME IS A KIDNAPPING, and I can see how readers who enjoyed THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X first might have been disappointed. This was masterfully done. Again, there's an adroit use of misdirection and again, I saw so many pieces, but one--a delightful twist. This appealed to me, and while the mystery itself, the game is gre Wonderful. I rarely give out five stars, but this one earned it. My second book that I've read by Higashino and I love his writing. This one was even better than THE NAME OF THE GAME IS A KIDNAPPING, and I can see how readers who enjoyed THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X first might have been disappointed. This was masterfully done. Again, there's an adroit use of misdirection and again, I saw so many pieces, but one--a delightful twist. This appealed to me, and while the mystery itself, the game is great, I enjoyed the interactions between Ishigami and Yukawa best. In fact, the rest of the story became rather irrelevant as I just fell into the story of friendship and competition. And the math. I suppose I understood Ishigami very well, that compulsion and drive that can tune out reality so that all that is left is the puzzle--it's a very addicting thing where reality is a distraction from the hunt. And while some may find this tragic, I don't. At first perhaps, but when it all settles I think Ishigami has found his answer. "I told him there is no such thing in this world as a useless cog, and that even a cog may decide how it is to be used."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karthick

    There are some books that just obsess you like anything and never get outta your mind. After "Murder of roger Ackroyd", "And then there were none", Devotion of suspect has become top notch favourites in my "mystery thriller list". Simple plot, Clever execution, Mind blowing deception, culmination is a really "Awe, what the fuck". Whodunit lovers! dont miss this..

  26. 5 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: murder, implied domestic violence WELL. This blew my mind. I read Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama recently and while I really liked it, it took me a long time to get to the point where I really liked it. This, on the other hand, I loved from basically page one. I mean, I definitely did not expect to know from the very beginning who the murderer was and then see the story unfold as the police try to work out who the murderer is and the murderer nervously waits to see if th Trigger warnings: murder, implied domestic violence WELL. This blew my mind. I read Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama recently and while I really liked it, it took me a long time to get to the point where I really liked it. This, on the other hand, I loved from basically page one. I mean, I definitely did not expect to know from the very beginning who the murderer was and then see the story unfold as the police try to work out who the murderer is and the murderer nervously waits to see if they'll be caught or not. The characters were great, the writing was gripping, and the way the whole thing played out was pretty damned mindblowing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    La Tonya Jordan

    Mr. Ishigami is a brilliant mathematician who becomes devoted to his neigbor, Yasuko Hanaoka and her daugher Misato, from a distance. He speaks to her only in passing and ordering his daily box lunch from Benten-tei, at the lunch counter, where Ms. Hanaoka works. His devotion leads to covering up the murder of Ms. Hanoka ex-husband Togashi. This leads to the suspense and thriller. Mr. Ishigami is a genius with calculations and the cover up is a mathematical problem to him. How to pull off the pe Mr. Ishigami is a brilliant mathematician who becomes devoted to his neigbor, Yasuko Hanaoka and her daugher Misato, from a distance. He speaks to her only in passing and ordering his daily box lunch from Benten-tei, at the lunch counter, where Ms. Hanaoka works. His devotion leads to covering up the murder of Ms. Hanoka ex-husband Togashi. This leads to the suspense and thriller. Mr. Ishigami is a genius with calculations and the cover up is a mathematical problem to him. How to pull off the perfect cover up? Mathematically speaking of course where the equation leads to a fail proof solution if all else fails. Does he succeed or fail? I recommend you start reading this book to discover the answer. Quote: Yukawa shook his head - a barely perceptible movement - then came to sit down across from Kusanagi. "The last time I met Ishigami, he presented me wiht a mathematical conundrum," he said. "It's a famous one, the P=NP problem. Basically, it asks whether it's more difficult to think of the solution to a problem yourself or to ascertain if someone else's answer to the same problem is correct." "Remember what Ishigami told you about his method of designing mathemathics exams? About coming at the test-taker from a blind spot created by their own assumptions? Like making an alebra problem look like a geometry problem? "Yeah? What about it?" "It's the same pattern. He made a trick body look like a trick alibi."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    This book received the Naoki Prize for best novel in Japan in 2006, although it was not published in the U.S. until later. There is also a Japanese TV series called "Detective Galileo" based on this series, although I was mad to see that I started with book #3 of a series. Darn it. Higashino is the most popular, best-selling mystery author in Japan. The characters in this novel are interesting, especially the mathematician, Ishigami. He is a genius who would rather spend his time solv This book received the Naoki Prize for best novel in Japan in 2006, although it was not published in the U.S. until later. There is also a Japanese TV series called "Detective Galileo" based on this series, although I was mad to see that I started with book #3 of a series. Darn it. Higashino is the most popular, best-selling mystery author in Japan. The characters in this novel are interesting, especially the mathematician, Ishigami. He is a genius who would rather spend his time solving complex mathematical problems or working out extensive mathematical proofs, unconcerned with gaining recognition for his efforts. The highlight of this story is his intellectual dueling with his university physicist friend, Yukawa, and his surprising feelings for a neighbor, Yasuko, whom he met by chance at a point where he felt that there was "no particular meaning to his life." A masterful and clever ending. A lot of "Blind spots due to assumptions, eh? -- Yukawa

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jaanaki

    I never expected the twist at the end and I am a seasoned mystery reader and good at guessing plots! One of the Oxford dictionary's definition for devotion is "love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person or activity", and the popular synonyms are "loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, trueness, staunchness" and that is what this thriller is all about .

  30. 5 out of 5

    Naddy

    Enduring the guilt is a way of doing penance As a voracious reader, i have read quite a few books under mystery/detective genre but this books stands truly apart. When i started this book, i thought it might be whodunnit but by the end of first chapter we know, what has been done and who has done.. And it is all about hiding the construction of alibi. Yasuko Hanaoka who 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 Enduring the guilt is a way of doing penance As a voracious reader, i have read quite a few books under mystery/detective genre but this books stands truly apart. When i started this book, i thought it might be whodunnit but by the end of first chapter we know, what has been done and who has done.. And it is all about hiding the construction of alibi. Yasuko Hanaoka who 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. As it is said the more you run from someone more they follow you, she has a deadbeat ex-husband who was looking for her and who wants her back in his life and wants money from her. 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 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. How he prepare the anecdote for Yasuko and Mistaso. On the other hand When Detective Kusanagi tries to put together the events of that night, he find himself confronted by most puzzling, mysterious circumstances.. A mixture of suitability, skill, unexpected turns, crafting the plot with logic and Trust me the way investigation unfolded will leave how things will leave you appalled and totally unexpected ending. Good to know about prolific mathematician Paul Erdos, Bernhard Riemaan, P=NP problem, how differential and Integral calculus is used in sports car racing, usage of Mathematics in real life. How sometimes solving some problem is all about detecting blind-spots. Some of the lines which i really like in book and i would like to share - Theories and logic are very well, but it is intuition which is one of the biggest weapon of detective arsenal.. Tunnel vision is no way to make a researcher. Your assumptions are your best enemies trust them too much and you'll fail to see what's right under your nose. There was no such thing in the world as useless cog, and that even a cog may decide how it is to be used. Also, sometimes it is enough to be associated with something so sublime. To seek any kind of acknowledgement would sully its dignity. My overall rating is 4/5 even though i quite like the book, i feel the investigation was little prolonged.

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