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The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
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9571959,064 (3.79)127
Member:arubabookwoman
Title:The Devotion of Suspect X
Authors:Keigo Higashino
Other authors:Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
Info:Minotaur Books (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle, Read in 2012
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction, Kindle, Mystery, Japan, Bought 2012, Read 2012

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The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

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» See also 127 mentions

English (193)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All (198)
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
I stumbled onto this one by accident. I'd seen a foreign film that I liked and the Wikipedia page for it said it was loosely based on this novel, so I bought it to give it a try, and in the end I can only see a few similarities between the two but not enough to really claim the book and the movie were much alike. I'm getting off topic. Regardless of all that, I quite enjoyed the book.

I like reading stories that take place in wildly different cultures, because it not only educates me about those cultures, but often I'm surprised by the way the stories unfold. American/English authors (whether they acknowledge this or not) often slip into familiar patterns that we, the readers, begin to anticipate before we realize what we're doing.

For instance, take the "Rule of Three." This is an actual thing. Here's the Wikipedia entry for it:

"The rule of three or power of three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader or audience of this form of text is also thereby more likely to remember the information. This is because having three entities combines both brevity and rhythm with having the smallest amount of information to create a pattern. It makes the author or speaker appear knowledgeable while being both simple and catchy."

I wonder if this is an Western concept, whereas other cultures (Eastern?) may not have developed the same patterns in their story-telling. They have their own patterns, which are unfamiliar to a Western reader. So lots of times in a book written by someone Asian/Eastern, where we (Westerners) would expect to see a pattern of three, the Asian writer throws us for a loop and does something completely different.

That's the sort of thing I see all over the place when I read books from Asia, and it intrigues me. Not the lack of the "Rule of Three," per se, but just a sense of randomness that I can't foresee. And I like it. I like that I start to anticipate one thing, and suddenly the narrative goes in a different direction. Keeps me on my toes.

Anyway, not to digress further and again, I had fun with that sort of thing in this book, the sense of curiosity I felt in reading something that had an unfamiliar structure and kept me guessing. And on top of that, it's just a really good detective story. You see the story unfold from the point of view of the detective as well as the "bad guy" at the same time, so it's not a whodunit or even a howdunit, but a "which of these two brilliant people will out smart the other" type of story. Also, you're sympathetic to both (there really isn't a "bad guy" in this story), so while I was reading it, I honestly didn't know who to root for. (See, there's another example of a standard Western trope, good guy vs. bad guy, that gets turned on it's head.)

And even though you know the whole story from the start, the writer still manages to add a few "gotchas" at the end that maybe you weren't expecting.

Fun read. ( )
  invisiblelizard | Feb 3, 2017 |
Wonderfully intricate murder mystery with a twist that, for me, was a surprise. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jan 6, 2017 |
This is an unusual police procedural set in Tokyo, Japan. The reader knows who the murderer is from the beginning, and the suspense comes from finding out whether the cover-up will be successful. There's a cat and mouse game being played, but not between the detective and the murderer, but between a physicist working in a university lab who sometimes consults for the lead detective and the next-door neighbor of the murderer who engage in the battle of wits.

Ishigami, a high school math teacher, loves his neighbor, Yasuko. Yasuko is a divorced mother who works in a small shop selling bento boxes. He buys his lunch from her every day, but lacks the courage to speak to her. On day, her estranged ex-husband appears and after he follows her home and forces his way into her apartment, there's an altercation and he is killed. Hearing the commotion, Ishigami appears and takes charge.

The Devotion of Suspect X was an interesting deviation from the usual police procedural. Coupled with the Japanese setting, this proved to be a fun evening's read. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Dec 2, 2016 |
Solitary mathematician Ishigami is devoted, from afar, to his neighbor Yasuko who barely registers his presence. Yasuko and her daughter Misato have escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When Togashi unexpectedly reappears, a violent confrontation (truly self-defense) results in his death. Ishigami helps Yasuko dispose of the body and plots a perfect, logical cover-up. When the corpse is found and identified, a relentless, dedicated Detective Kusanagi starts investigating. However, it is his chess partner and frequent police consultant, physicist Manabu Yukawa, an old-college friend of Ishigami, who pushes the investigation back to Yasuko. The mathematician battles wits with the physicist, with Ishigami desperate to save the woman he adores.

Higashino has crafted a riveting psychological suspense novel, where tension remains high throughout and the characters jump off the page. The competition between a genius mathematician's logic and a brilliant physicist's observations adds a rare zest. The story definitely mixes Japanese culture, attitudes, and philosophies to create a unique and exotic flavour.

Higashino won Japan's Naoki Prize for Best Novel with this book, which also launched his American debut. While this was the first book released in America, it is the third book starring physicist and consultant Manabu Yukawa. ( )
  ktoonen | Aug 5, 2016 |
At the beginning of this mystery the reader meets mild-mannered math teacher Ishigami as he walks to work on a route which takes him past the lunch shop, "Benten-tei" where he orders lunch every day from his attractive neighbor, Yasuko Hanaoka. When her abusive ex-husband comes to Yasuko and her daughter's apartment one evening and ends up dead at their hands, Ishigami constructs a watertight alibi for them. The police are suspicious and determined to find out who killed the man. They enlist the support of their own scientist in the murder investigation, the brilliant and eccentric physicist Yukawa Manabu, who just happens to be an old classmate of Ishigami's. The center of the story starts with the unpicking of the alibi and the beginning of a battle of wills between the two scientists to completely outwit one another. I thought this was really interesting but I missed the character interaction that happens in more typical mysteries. The suppressed nature of the men kept me from becoming as involved in the story as I usually like. However, the plot is very cleverly constructed and I enjoyed it very much. I definitely plan to pick up the next book in the series, Salvation of a Saint. " ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jun 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
Anyone may be capable of murder, but only a mathematical genius can concoct a foolproof plan for getting away with it. That’s the premise of THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X, Keigo Higashino’s ingeniously plotted mystery about a math teacher who deduces that the neighbor he worships has murdered her abusive ex-husband and then calmly offers to help her escape the consequences. “Logical thinking will get us through this,” Tetsuya Ishigami promises...
added by y2pk | editNew York Times, Marilyn Stasio (Feb 25, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Higashino, Keigoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, Elye J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Alexander O.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At 7:35 A.M. Ishigami left his apartment as he did every weekday morning.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The series name of 'Detective Galileo' relates to the character  Manabu Yukawa who is a professor and physicist in the books and is frequently consulted by his friend, a detective in the Tokyo police - he is affectionately known as 'Detective Galileo'
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Book description
Yasuko Hanaoka, a divorced single mother, thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband. But when he shows up one day, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter, Misato, the situation quickly escalates and he ends up dead on her apartment floor. Without hesitation, her enigmatic neighbor, Ishigami, a brilliant math teacher whose devotion to Yasuko runs deep, offers to calculate the perfect alibi. His one condition is that the two women must follow his instructions to the letter.

Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police, faced with a brutal murder and evidence that doesn't add up, seeks the advice of his college friend Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a brilliant physicist nicknamed "Detective Galileo." Yukawa knows the math genius from his past, and what ensues is a fierce battle of wits, one mastermind against another, one using all his skill and wits to uncover the truth, the other risking everything, proving the depths of his devotion.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312375069, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Yasuko Hanaoka thought she had escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day, the situation quickly escalates and Togashi ends up dead. Yasuko's next-door-neighbor Ishigami offers his help, not only disposing of the body, but plotting the cover-up as well.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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