Book Review : The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino


“How to Commit the Perfect Murder” was an old game in heaven. I always chose the icicle: the weapon melts away.” ― Alice Sebold

Mathematics is a subject that once mastered can take our brains to those heights which we can never ever imagine. Love, on the other hand can make us do all kinds of things in this world, even murder. Well, that happens all the time. People cross all the borders to attain the object/person of their love, including saving their lives by taking their blame on one’s own head.

Now you would be wondering what is the relation of love and murder. That, my dear readers is the whole suspense and is uncovered in the brilliantly written novel The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. I am one of all the fortunate people who got an opportunity to read and review this book. When I saw the title of this book, I was a little confused as to what it actually conveyed. But now when I have read it, I am in awe of the author who came up with this title in relation with its content. It’s just perfect. Before we move on to the plot and other details of the book, I would like you guys to ponder upon one thing : Do you love someone so much that you’ll sacrifice your whole life for covering their one mistake?

Plot : Insular and intense, Ishigami is a mathematical genius and one of life’s great observers. What truly absorbs his attention is his next door neighbour, Yasuko Hanaoka, who works at a local food shop. Although they hardly speak to each other, Ishigami is devoted to this single mother of a single daughter, Misato. The drama arrives suddenly in the shape of Yasuko’s violent, sponging ex-husband, Togashi. Yasuko snaps, but not before Misato attacks her stepfather in order to end up his episode from their lives.. Convinced that Togashi is about to murder her daughter, Yasuko tries to save her daughter from doing such an act and ends up killing him herself with an electrical cord.To the rescue of Yasuko comes an unlikely knight in armour, the stocky stolid Ishigami. He calms them by saying that his words of logic and exact calculations will evade suspicion of murder if the police starts their investigations. The premise takes 48 pages to narrate; the remaining pages describe the ingenious cover-up and the police investigation lead by Inspector Kusanagi, with a little extramural help from the brilliant physics professor, Manabu Yukawa. There are some other key characters that add to the mystery and lead the culprit to confessions.

The books starts on a slow note. Very slow note. Me being an impatient reader was left wondering in between that how come it sold two million copies with such a slow speed? But as I moved ahead, I found myself unable to put the book down. The plot is so intense that it really became hard for me to read the full book page by page in order to reach the climax. Higashino’s fictional universe is so carefully constructed and his plot so perfectly paced that some small bumps in the road are quickly flattened. All the characters are entwined with each other in a typical but interesting way. Bonded by faith and deception, love and mistrust, the characters circle each other in elaborate patterns. In the final pages, twist follows twist, turning everything on its head. The finale is both chilling and moving, and confronts emotions that crime fiction rarely covers. You realise that The Suspect of Devotion X is not simply an extraordinary and exciting thriller but a love story. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 marks. And as always I would recommend this book to all those who love their novels with high levels of wit in it.

My weekend well spent I must say! 🙂 Tc people!

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