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The Devotion Of Suspect X Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349138737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349138732
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 12 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,817,799 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


Meticulous...a thriller hung on obsessional love and impeccable logic which drags you along with a teasing "how did he do it" logic...there's a tremendous sense of the more down-at-heel Tokyo neighbourhoods...and the ending is a killer twist Metro The finale is both chilling and moving, and confronts emotions that crime fiction rarely covers. You realise that The Devotion of Suspect X is not simply an extraordinary thriller but a love story. A strange one, it is true, but a love story nonetheless. It will linger long in the memory Independent on Sunday Intricate and beguiling...if you like riddles inside enigmas, it will please you no end Guardian Imaginative erudite and quietly subversive police procedural that builds to a twisting finale that encapsulates the brutal fatalism of the great noir novels Irish Times 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 Beautifully judged prose...we are hooked even before the author pulls off another coup... Anyone who regularly writes about the crime genre is repeatedly asked: what's the next trend? If there were more genre authors in Japan as accomplished as this, the answer would be simple: Japanese crime fiction Independent --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Read the book that sold over two million copies in Japan and became a national obsession --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Amy Henry on 5 Feb 2011
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit on 16 July 2011
Format: Paperback
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 By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Feb 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer 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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