Hachette Book Group (AU)
This price was set by the publisher.
The Devotion Of Suspect X Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 379 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $10.49 after you buy the Kindle book.
"...The best mystery novel I read [last year] was a standalone translation of a Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X... a puzzle mystery that manages never to become a cozy... Ishigami, a mathematical genius who, through the vicissitudes of academic life has become a mere high school teacher, has fallen in love with the divorced mother-of-one who lives next door, and when she commits a killing in self-defense, he takes over the crime scene and arranges a brilliant deception that completely fools the police... [The Devotion of Suspect X] is smart at every level. Each revelation is smarter than the illusion it tears aside. And the conclusion, which depends on understanding of human character rather than logic or science, is both satisfying and frustrating. Satisfying, because it is utterly just and true to character; frustrating, because quite against our own moral sense we find ourselves rooting for the bad guy - because we understand him so well he doesn't seem all that bad." --Orson Scott Card"Higashino won Japan's Naoki Prize for Best Novel with this stunning thriller about miscarried human devotion, a bestseller in Japan. The author successfully combines unquestionable reasoning with unquenchable pain. In this brutally laconic translation, cold logic battles warm hearts throughout this elegant proof of the wages of sin, in which everyone suffers and no one can ever win." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Winner of Japan's prestigious Naoki Prize and a bestseller there with more than two million copies sold, this literary psychological thriller is a subtle and shifting murder mystery. It will make readers redefine devotion and trust in an otherwise complete stranger." --Library Journal (starred review) "Veteran police detective matches wits with a brilliant rookie criminal. This character-driven mystery by the prolific Higashino has much to recommend, including a droll Columbo-like sleuth and a great surprise ending." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "In The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino weaves a web of intellectual gamesmanship in which the truth is a weapon that leads both police and readers astray. The ingenius conclusion is so unexpected that it's difficult to imagine anyone seeing it coming. Smart, smart characters." --Jaqueline Winspear "How could we have ever imagined, without the help of a novel like this, that Japanese life could be so fraught with suffering and so entertaining all at once?" --Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News on HIMITSU (The Secret), published as NAOKO in the U.S. "Higashino is a deft conjurer of human relationships, and while this is first and foremost a tale of grief-- --he infuses it with spasms of sharp humor." --East Bay Express on Himitsu (The Secret) "The Devotion of Suspect X has all the brilliant intricacy of the best Golden Age mysteries - puzzle within puzzle, twist after twist - with a modern sensibility. It is a wonderful, fresh take on the classic mystery's intellectual struggle between protagonist and antagonist, adds to it all the right amounts of tension and pacing, places it in a fascinating setting, and gives of all of this plenty of heart." --Jan Burke, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author of Kidnapped and Bones "Japanese crime writers excel at many things: one is the slow tightening of the noose that's at the fast-pounding heart of the police procedural. The Devotion of Suspect X is a terrific book in that tradition and it's about time American readers got a crack at it." --SJ Rozan, Edgar Award winning author of Winter and Night and On the Line "The Devotion of Suspect X is elegant and spare and gripping and vivid. Most of all, however, it is deeply moving, and this is what sets it apart!" --Jesse Kellerman, bestselling author of Trouble and The Executor "Irresistible! A mind-twisting story that will have readers plunging in to try to solve the crime before the math genius, the physics professor, or the cop get there first." --Nancy Pickard, New York Times bestselling author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning and The Virgin of Small Plains --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- File Size : 805 KB
- Print Length : 379 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Abacus (7 July 2011)
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0053YQNAE
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: 104,783 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In this book we see the murder, we know who committed it, and we see who arranges the cover-up. But we don’t see all the details of the cover-up, so we don’t know how it was done. The fun lies in following the police as they try to figure it out.
Higashino's books tend to focus on how the crime could happen and the efforts of the police to work this out, rather than finding out who committed the murder. In this book we see the murder occur and know what led up to the murder. And, frankly, if you’re not totally onside with the murderer and glad the victim is dead then something is wrong with you.
The plot itself revolves around the cover-up and the efforts of the police to uncover it. And since this cover-up is orchestrated by a genius, the author has an excuse to come up not just with a brilliant cover-up, but also with quite a few red herrings. Some laid for the police in the story but some, dear reader, laid specifically for YOU.
This is definitely the selling point for the book and it is brilliantly done, which is just as well because there are a few weak spots (plot wise) that this brilliance needs to gloss over. Or better yet, blind us to.
In this particular book in the series, Kusanagi ‘just knows’ that single mother Yasuko Hanaoka is guilty of - umm – something, probably murder, despite the lack of evidence. Why? is the eternal mystery, or would be if we bothered with those little details. We, the reader, know he just happens to be right. But that is it – he just ‘happens’ to be right.
Jump to the next ‘Suspend Disbelief’ moment. Ishigami, a man who only knows Yasuko by sight but who is devoted to her anyway (as men so often are by single mothers, right?) decided to intervene, stopping the woman from confessing all to the police and arranging a cover-up AND…
Jump to the next ‘Suspend Disbelief’ moment(s). ...Not only is Ishigami an unrecognised genius, but Kusunagi asks for the assistance of another genius (Yukawa) who – of course – knew Ishigami when they were both at university. Because, as we all know, geniuses go to the same schools at the same time and party in each others houses, in much the same way that celebrities do, and football stars. Ahem.
Higashino was right to start this book by showing us the murder and some of the events afterward, because a book that started with Kusunagi’s determined - and unreasonable – belief in the Yasuko’s guilt would have had trouble ever getting out from under that liability. Showing readers that the woman is guilty before Kusunagi makes his assumption makes his behaviouir more acceptable along the lines of “sure it was shonky as hell but we’re going to look past that because we know she did it and it’s just a book”. So, assuming we can put up with this slight clumsy attempt to distract us from a narrative flaw, there is a lot in this book that is done well – very well.
Ishigami is not merely described as a genius, he lives up to the hype. Slowly uncovering the pieces of Ishigami’s masterful cover-up is a joy that will have readers slapping their hands to their heads in chagrine again and again. It is not just what Ishigami covers up but what Ishigami creates that will draw the reader forward through the plot, happily tossing aside the sillier plot aspects in order to fully enjoy a cover-up – and an investigation – that get better as it goes along. There is no getting past it – in this book Higashino has set two brilliant characters against each other, and they both shine. The joy in watching Ishigami and Yukawa pitted against one another is the joy of watching two masters at play, the world championship game of brilliant criminal vs brillian detective.
There is more to like about the book. Another strength is the matter-of-fact look at life in Japan. Catching a bus to a crime scene because owning a car is not a given, eating in Japanese-style eateries - the sort of offhand detail that Western writers sweat over when writing Japanese settings and rarely get right. It is a delight, and one of the chief delights in reading any fiction originally intended for foreign audiences.
But my enjoyment of these aspects was offset by the unsympathetic treatment (in the end) of the female suspect. I am not sure why Higashino creates scenarios where it is impossible not to sympathise with the woman/murderer, then disposes of this sympathetic character without a second thought. Or even, apparently, regret. (He does something similar in Salvation of a Saint.) I am not saying that we should want Yasuko to get away scot free but nobody in the books seems to have the slightest sympathy for her – and they should have. In fact I would go as far as to suggest that there should be some indication – if only as expressed by another character, maybe Kusunagi or Yukawa - that she will not be expected to pay the full penalty for her crime. Or any penalty at all. Do Japanese courts not recognise self-defence, or defence of others, as a legitimate defence against a charge of murder?
We have still to see if the Professor Galileo series, and other works be Higashino, are as successful in English as they were in Japanese. I think the success of the books - or lack of success – will come down to one simple factor. Will the predominately female mystery readers of the Western world find enough in the books to compensate them for Higashino’s inability to write well-rounded female characters, or see deeper when it comes to his female characters? To see them as more than a conveniently sympathetic figure to be disposed of without thought or consideration the second the puzzle is solved? I am unlikely to be the only reader who grieved for Yasuko and wanted a better – fairer – ending for her and her daughter.
Top reviews from other countries
Simple language, sometimes bordering on twee (perhaps as a result of the translation from Japanese to English), it was a pageturner but not unputdownable.
Being an intermittent reader, it took me a long time to finish but some might say this could be read in one sitting.
It could be said that not much in terms of the plot happened during most of the book, with the 'twist' and story only being tied together at the very end but somehow it kept me drawn in and wanting to find out how it ended.
Unfortunately, the knockout blow never really came and I was left slightly disappointed by what was otherwise a cogent story. Perhaps it was the (over)recommendation, perhaps it was the way the story padded out a lot of the book with interesting character interaction that left me wanting more...it never quite came though. Overall good, but not great.
Ishikawa the mathematician is expertly drawn. After I finished reading I couldn't shake off the feeling of frustration that there was no space for his genius in the modern Japanese society, which probably pushed him towards his crime. If he was able to submerge himself in the world's mathematical enigmas instead of teaching hopeless youth, he probably wouldn't have thrown his genius to cover for an unremarkable unhappy woman.
The investigation is shown very subtly and develops mostly via dialogues. About midway through the book I got a bit tired. I couldn't make sense why seemingly irrelevant details got rolled over and discussed endlessly. Almost lost interest. But it all fell into place in most unexpected and unforeseen way.
It doesn't have a happy ending but a story of human emotions that strong probably shouldn't anyway.
This work also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Award, considered one of the most prestigious awards in the mystery novels category in Japan, plus several others, gathering acclaim from critics and readers alike. The English translation was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Barry Award for Best First Novel.
The story follows Tetsuya Ishigami and Yasuko Hanaoka, as they go about their daily routines. Yasuko is a divorced single mother who works in a restaurant packing bentos for its local clientele. Ishigami is a highly talented mathematics teacher, who lives next door to Yasuko and her daughter, and is a regular at the bento shop and is secretly enamoured with Yasuko. This quiet safe and monotonous routine explodes when Yasuko's violent ex-husband Togashi, tracks her down with the aim of extorting money from her by intimidating both Yasuko and her daughter, Yasuko, has been here before and just wants to get rid of him, so he attempts to use her daughter as a means of extortion. When this fails he loses his cool & in a rage begins to hit out, this situation escalates rapidly and ends with being him being killed by the mother and daughter. Whilst horror-struck and paralysed by what they've done, there’s a knock on the door.
Attempting to establish some order in the flat, Yasuko then answers the door, to find Ishigami standing there; who having heard the commotion, has somehow deduced its cause and is offering to help. In fact he is offering to remove all responsibility for disposing of the body, and is plotting a means of covering up the murder & to organise an alibi for the mother and daughter.
Eventually the body is found and despite a reasonably airtight alibi Kusanagi, the detective in charge of the case looks in Yasuko’s direction, partially because there are no other suspects & partially because despite no obvious holes in her alibi, he feels that there's something wrong with her story, that it just doesn't sit right with him.
So far a fairly standard detective novel, but this is more than that, what I haven’t mentioned is that although Ishigami is working as a maths teacher it appears that he is hiding his light under a bushel, it turns out that he was something of a maths prodigy and still could be described as a genius when it comes to issues of maths and logic. Add to this the detective Kusanagi, has a friend Dr Manabu Yukawa, a physicist who frequently consults with the police and who could also wear the badge of genius lightly - and he is an old friend of Ishigami. What follows is a tightly constructed game of cat and mouse between the Detective who has his sights on Yasuko and Ishigami who is directing things from the shadows, it falls to Yukawa, to see what is really going on and in doing so realises the love & devotion that Ishigami has for the divorced Yasuko and also the lengths Ishigami is willing to go to sacrifice himself for that love.
Because despite this book having a plethora of awards & critics stating what a fantastic detective, crime, mystery novel this is – it isn't.
What this really is, is a romance, a tale of unrequited love and obsession masquerading as all of the above, as a mystery novel it is great, as crime fiction it is fantastic, as a work of detective writing it is wonderful, but what raises it above all of those is that deep dark tale of a love that is willing - despite no chance of being requited - of doing whatever it takes to safeguard the person it is directed at. What raises this beyond the standard ideal of crime fiction is the character of Ishigami and the sacrifices he is willing to make to protect Yasuko, and it is only towards the end of this journey does his old friend work out how dark and bloody and how fatal this tale becomes & with it he sees the depths of the math teachers love and devotion.
Higashino presents us with a crime and then we are taken by the hand on a journey to unravel motive, rationale and humanity. I've been looking for a successor to Murakami, having read all of his material, and hopefully, I've found him.