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The Devotion Of Suspect X [Paperback]

Keigo Higashino
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012

Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered.

When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime...

One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349123748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349123745
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Keigo Higashino was born in Osaka. He started writing novels while still working as an engineer at Nippon Denso Co. He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize for writing at age 27, and subsequently quit his job to start a career as a writer in Tokyo.

Product Description


Intricate and beguiling...if you like riddles inside enigmas, it will please you no end (Guardian)

The plot is taut and intriguing...this psychological driver sets it apart from more run-of-the-mill crime thrillers...Agatha Christie would be mightily impressed (Financial Times)

A very clever novel that explores the consequences of a murder from the perspectives of the murderer, the police investigators, and the man who engages in a battle of wits with the police...a page-turning thriller (Irish Times)

It's the details that hold the key to this enjoyable read (We Love This Book)

Two million copies sold in Japan and it's easy to see why (Independent Summer Reads)

Book Description

Read the book that sold over two million copies in Japan and became a national obsession

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars scholarly police procedural 5 Feb 2011
Be prepared to get sucked into this new thriller from Keigo Higashino. While he's already a big name in Japan, this is his first book translated into English. It's best called a police procedural rather than just a crime novel, because every little detail Higashino includes has a point in the story. What's most unique is as soon as you begin, the murder of a man occurs, and you know exactly who did it. Straight up, it's right there, demanding you pay attention!

The mystery of the novel comes into play as the crime is investigated by the police force as well as two academics, one a physicist and the other a mathematician, both former competitors who are eager to prove their superiority to each other as well as the police detectives that they look down upon. Nothing plays out as ordinary, although the characters can be considered regular people. Rather than an all-seeing Hercule Poirot type of solution, the novel is instead about observation of facts and the interpretation of the tiniest details. Because of the amount of intricate details, sometimes the narrative slows down. In fact, at a few points, you may even be distracted and feel as if you are balancing your checkbook. Yet that's the trick Higasino plays: the monotonous details are the most revealing and ultimately solve the crime.

In addition to the mystery, the author builds credible characters, and makes their motives always remain a bit unclear. At times, while knowing `whodunit', I still found myself questioning what I already knew, and wondering how much I assumed. Seeing a snapshot of the life of middle-class Japan, with its emphasis on decorum, routine, and reputation, makes a cryptic setting for the murder and its repercussions.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Logic vs. Gut 16 July 2011
Cleverly pitting the logic of a mathematician against that of a physicist, and then the physicist vs. an intuition-leaning detective, this Japanese novelist has written a clever murder mystery with an innovative ending.

There is no mystery as to the murderer: A single mother, aided by her daughter, strangles her abusive ex-husband. What then follows provides us with a chess match between her next door neighbor, a mathematician, who undertakes to create a scenario to provide the two women with iron-clad alibis, and a detective and his logic-leaning physicist friend, who analyzes each possible clue. It is an interesting technique, and one that works well.

This is the author's first major English publication (he is a big seller in Japan, where more than 2 million copies of the book have been sold), and the translation seems to have been made with the formality of the original language in mind. "Devotion" won the Naoki Prize for Best Novel, the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award. Deservedly. And it is, here, heartily recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Mathematical genius Tetsuya Ishigami and his equally brilliant friend Manabu Yukawa, from the physics department at Imperial University in Tokyo, are at the heart of Keigo Higashino's complex and satisfying murder mystery from Japan. From the outset the reader knows who has killed a loathsome and terrifying bully; the big question is whether or not the person will ever be caught. When Tetsuya Ishigami overhears a commotion taking place in the apartment next door, he offers to help, and as he likes the woman and her daughter who live there, he provides a seemingly airtight alibi for them when he sees a crime has been committed. Police Det. Kusanagi, who investigates, feels that something is not quite right, however, something he discusses when he visits the physics professor, Yukawa, his long-time friend. Yukawa often offers friendly lessons in pure deductive reasoning and provides logical direction for Kusanagi and the police.

Yukawa has also known Ishigami since they were students at the Imperial University. On a visit to Ishigami's apartment after the murder, they begin to chat, and Yukawa sums up the basic problem of the murder investigation: that investigators have been fooled by the criminals' camouflage. Most criminals, he believes, make their alibis complex and increase the chances that they will betray themselves. The genius keeps things simple, acting in ways "no normal person" would think of doing, thereby ironically increasing the complexity for the police.

The chess-like maneuvering between the two geniuses - Yukawa and Ichigami - greatly resembles that of Sherlock Holmes and Prof. Moriarty, even to its clipped dialogue, but this novel has a love interest to keep things more realistic and more fun.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and clever 30 Nov 2011
What a strange yet strangely appealing book from this Japanese author, Keigo Higashino. I have read several novels by Japanese authors over the years and they have all had similar styles in that they have been sparsely written with barely a word wasted, yet they have all packed an almighty punch (without even trying it somehow seems). The Devotion of Suspect X is a clever crime book. There is a murder but no blood and gutts, a crime but no evidence. The killing takes place in the first few pages of the book and we all know straight away who did it: what happens immediately afterwards is what keeps the reader on their toes.

The story is centred around Yasuko, a single mum who works in a lunch-box shop and whos unsavoury ex-husband tries to worm his way back into her life. Within pages, said ex-husband is dead and entering from stage left is strange nextdoor neighbour Ishigami, who is a genius mathemetician with rather a large crush on Ysasuko. On the case of the body dumped in an oil drum by the river is Tokyo Detective Kusangi who vents his frustrations about the case to friend Yukawa who happens to be a genius physician and whom knew Ishigami at University. What follows is clash of the geniuses: not in an action-packed, race-against-time way, but more like a battle of brains over a quiet game of chess. While this was a great way to help the reader unravel what happened, I have to admit that about of the way through the book I started to become a little bored with the perpetual cat-and-mouse game between Yukawa and Ishigami: I remember sighing and uttering "get on with it" at one point. However, not long after I was rewarded with an almighty wollop at the end that I didn't see coming. And then, just as I'd relaxed again, I was left staring at an ending that made my mouth go into this shape..... O

Verdict: Quirky, surprising and rewarding
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars How to commit the perfect crime
I'm not quite sure why this book has become such a cult following, but it is an interesting insight into the deconstruction and reconstruction of a crime and the end has a very... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Book chatter
2.0 out of 5 stars Mundane crime fiction.
Thought this may have been a different kind of crime thriller, but I was disappointed by how mundane and miserable it turned out to be and finishing became a chore. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M P Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars Sucks you in
Another stumble across book, which was thoroughly enjoyed. The clever part of the book is the fact that you have a real appreciation of the villain of the piece and the thoughtful... Read more
Published 3 months ago by DySporting
2.0 out of 5 stars Trying to finish it,
I am 60% through this book and it is heavy going. Hopefully it will improve and I will enjoy it more.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow....
The plot is so drawn out and the characters aren't that deep but the characterisation is, at least, consistent. I am disappointed by the lack of insight into the culture too. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kim
2.0 out of 5 stars "Japanese Steig Larrson"? - I don't think so.
This is so very far from being "The Japanese Steig Larsson" that the Times Reviewer who thus named it should never be given a book to review again. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed this
A clever and absorbing read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Given that the reader has all the answers from the outset the steady tracking of the murderer, or not, is intriguing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by anicoll5
4.0 out of 5 stars different
worth reading, Keigo is such a great author, and this book is another example of how to write a mystery criminal story
Published 5 months ago by not happy one
4.0 out of 5 stars P = NP
This is the first time I've read a crime novel where the perpetrators are identified from the start, and though it was a little heavy going, trying to remember all the different... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Val Kyrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Good from the beginning!
Fantastic book never thought I would find someone who could match Steig Larrsson but low and behold, this person has!
Published 7 months ago by Laura
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