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The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel (Detective Galileo Series) Paperback – 28 Feb 2012
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Description for The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel (Detective Galileo Series)
“…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
About the Author
Born in Osaka and currently living in Tokyo, KEIGO HIGASHINO is one of the most widely known and bestselling novelists in Japan. He is the winner of the Edogawa Rampo Prize (for best mystery), the Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc. Prize (for best mystery) among others. His novels are translated widely throughout Asia.
ALEXANDER O. SMITH has translated a broad variety of novels, manga, and video games, for which he has been nominated for the Eisner Award, and won the ALA's Batchelder Award (for his translation of Miyuki Miyabe's Brave Story), and been recognized for his localizations of the video games Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII. He lives with his family in Vermont.
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As I'd suspected with Midnight Sun, a lot of the issues around the book were related to pacing and the narrative structure since the book was originally envisaged and drafted as a series of columns in a magazine which just ended up being collated as a book. The Devotion of Suspect X is free of these trappings and what stands with me above everything else is the pacing. I read it almost cover to cover on a Saturday morning pre-lunch - it has been a while since I've done something like this!
After a slightly slow first chapter, we're sucked into the story - the murder happens within the first 30 minutes and before you realise, the game of cat and mouse has started. It's not a conventional who-dunit since we're actually privy to the deed right up front, but there's a unique spin to a murder mystery - how do you help the murderer actually get a away with the crime. And the denouement has a surprise twist in the tale - something which as a veteran Agatha Christie and co. fan I thought I knew every type of ;)
It's also a very tight book, without the extra socio-political commentary and background (don't get me wrong, I enjoy that) which I think helps this thriller genre. But when I read a foreign author, especially a translation - it's very important for me that the 'mahaul' of the land (atmosphere for lack of a more accurate English term) is created and felt. To be able to straddle both these lines is something Higashino has got down perfectly here - as a reader, you definitely get the Japanese flavour here, but moulded for a more universal palette.
This has almost unfortunately become a bit of an insult - but I do think this is the perfect 'airport paperback' (the cute pocket sized edition I got for Amazon only strengthens that use-case :) )
The book arrived in perfect condition and on correct time. The font and printing is comfortable. You don't have to worry about the quality of the book.
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Resolution fr the year: to complete rest of this Master's work 😌