Reviewed: The Devotion of Suspect X

A Japanese best seller with 2 million readers & am sure I can safely call them fans, The Devotion of Suspect X is a well-balanced mixture of a puzzle suitable for Sherlock Holmes with a twist brought to it by Agatha Christie! “An international crime thriller”- falls short of describing this book. Keigo Higashino has played around with human emotions, the philosophy of life & twisted them around to weave the characters in his novel. There’s no multimillionaire involved, no precious jewels, no run around chase, no adrenaline rush yet the mystery lingers on your mind long after page 374.
Book review of The Devotion of Suspect X
The Devotion of Suspect X

We are introduced to our protagonist-a high school maths teacher Ishigami’s normal routine. His mundane life holds nothing of value for him save his research in maths & his beautiful divorced neighbour Yasuko Hanaoka. Ishigami is a man of logic & has no space for emotions in his life. However Yasuko’s mere presence brings him out of his world of logic to something akin to humane affection. He silently observes his neighbour & is happy with keeping their interaction to a bare minimum, he stays a mathematician with a hopeless crush.

Yasuko on the other hand is a hardworking mom, trying to keep her only daughter Misato happy & safe from the cruelties of her ex-husband Togashi. Working in a small shop selling lunch boxes, she strives to drown away her past life shared with Togashi. Yet all her dreams shatter when one day he comes visiting at her shop. I won’t reveal much lest it act as a spoiler, but the story begins here & brings together an unlikely partnership in crime. Brilliant minds are pitted against the other, one trying to hoodwink & the other closing in on the truth albeit unwillingly.

The other characters have also been well developed by Higashino. The scientist Yukawa who plays a crucial role in uncovering the truth along with detective Kusanagi are well portrayed with excellent insights into the working of tow very different minds. How one person sees something & how they perceive it, all depends on our preconceptions.

The story tends to lag a bit in the middle, as one is lead to believe that the detectives are not getting any closer to solving the mystery. Yet towards the end, we witness a brilliant turn of events that will definitely make you raise your eyebrows! To say that the twist is shocking will undermine its effect. The author has flawlessly put together a puzzle & the revelation of the last part leaves the readers shocked.

Are people really what they appear to be? In a battle of logic & love, who wins? Friendship is tested, sacrifices made & ultimately we know the age old truth-crime never pays! For people who’d like to give their minds a challenge, The Devotion of Suspect X is a must read novel. And I bet no one can ever guess the twist!

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shivnadimpalli said…
Have you read Salvation of the Saint yet ?

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