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The Devotion Of Suspect X Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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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: 12.6 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,070 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

Review

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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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By Themistocles TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Crime novels frequently trade in emotions and impulses we regard as malevolent: jealousy, greed, hatred, or just plain insanity. The Devotion of Subject X is different - it's about fidelity and adoration in their purest, most dangerous form.

I was gripped from the start. Higashino pulls off the neat trick of creating an antagonist that the reader can almost root for, yet still imbue them with enough menace to also hope the detectives succeed in their chase.

This is a quiet novel. The cast list is small. There's little to no travel. There aren't any thrilling chases or gunfights. As I was reading it, I was, inevitably, reminded of another great Japanese detective novel I read: Inspector Imanishi investigates. There's a similar old fashioned dedication to logic on the part of the crime solvers, and a similar lack of hyperbolic action.

This leaves room for the characters' thoughts and motivations and breathe, and there are scenes with real emotional weight to complement the pleasure of unravelling the mystery.
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Format: Paperback
Much of what I read in what could broadly be described as crime and detection type novels is instantly forgettable. That is not to say that such a book is not enjoyable to read, but there is really nothing about it which sticks in the mind once you have finished it. However, The Devotion of Suspect X is a clever, well thought out novel and it has something about it which places it well above this level.

Broadly the story concerns a murder and subsequent cover up, and there is absolutely no mystery as to who the perpetrator is. However, one of the parties involved is a very clever man, Ishigami, arguably at a genius level of intellect. He treats the concealment of the crime as a puzzle in logic, and applies his intellect in creating a situation which will mislead the police and which they will find impossible to crack. Also involved on the police side is a former friend and colleague of Ishigami, also highly intelligent, who proves to be a formidable adversary.

I liked the style of this tale. There is none of the waffle and unnecessary verbiage which authors often feel obliged to pad out their offerings with, and everything in this book is absolutely relevant to the story which is being related. There are many quite small incidents and observations which prove to have immense importance later. On the front of the latest edition of this book is printed `The Japanese Stieg Larsson' which is apparently a quote from the Times. I would say this book is absolutely nothing like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy except that it is broadly of the same genre. In fact to make this comparison is quite unfair on the author, who has come up with an entertaining and compelling story which most of his readers will thoroughly enjoy.

After the first 20 pages or so I was certainly hooked and the outcome is not clear until right at the end so that the reader's interest is maintained throughout. This is a unique and intelligent read. Highly recommended!
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