Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review- The Devotion Of Suspect X


AUTHOR- Keigo Higashino
ISBN - 9780349138732
PAGES - 374
GENRE - Novel / Crime Thriller

Book Cover says- Yasuko lives a quiet life, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one evening, her comfortable world is shattered.
When detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that night, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense...

Swarnali Speaks - The book was originally written in Japanese by Keigo Higashino and then translated to English by Alexander O. Smith with Elye J. Alexander. The Times has crowned Higashino as 'The Japanese Stieg Larsson'. Plus this novel has sold 2 million copies alone in Japan. Consequently, I had very high expectations from this book and am glad to say, I was not at all disappointed. 

The plot concerns the beautiful middle aged single mother Yasuko Hanaoka and her teenage daughter, Misato as the initial lead characters. But after a few pages, the reader realizes that the plot concerns not about these two, but more about their next door neighbor, a high school mathematics teacher, “Ishigami the Buddha”. Other important characters in the book include the murder victim, Yasuko’s ex-husband, Togashi; the investigating officers Kusanagi and Kishitani ; Kusanagi’s friend and physics genius Yukawa, who is also incidentally Ishigami’s old friend and admirer and Yasuko’s devoted customer, Kudo. I highly appreciate the author’s detailed and three dimensional portrayal of each and every character in the book. He hasn’t left any character in the book, minor or major, sketchy. The past, present and future of each character is analyzed which gives and insight into the functioning of the character’s mind, giving us a clue into the rolling of the plot. But what comes as a complete delight and surprise to the reader is the end which leaves the reader nothing less than gaping in awe at the author’s skill at deluding and trapping the reader’s mind completely off-track, with an amazing twist to the tale. 

The author delivers an amazing plot with unbelievable yet plausible twists and turns which keeps the reader hooked to the book till the very last sentence. I could not keep the book once I got over the initial 30-35 pages which were a tad bit stretchy. But then what commences after those initial pages is a complete whirlwind, sweeping the reader along, with no jolts or breaks. What I liked best in the book is not lost in translation unlike many other works of translation. Of course, I cannot tell if it is as good as the original Japanese book, but on its own, it does a pretty good job. What is worth appreciating is the effort the translators have taken to explain in proper detail each and every Japanese term. For example, a kotatsu table and tatami mats are something completely alien to a non-Japanese reader like me, but the translators have explained what each and every daily use item means-how it looks and its importance in a Japanese household which helps the reader to a great extent. The graphic descriptions of the locations and the landmarks are so vivid that we can almost visualize the whole action in front of us, like a movie.

Overall, an amazing read. If you like mathematics like me, you are cannot help but love the book. If you are not, still you can’t help loving it. Take my word for it, it is that good.

Rating - 5/5

Price -
 Rs. 350

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  1. I loved the book too!! I completely agree with you about the good translation and the sense of 'completeness' that every character has. Great review!!

  2. I totally loved the book. My fave so far from all the books I got from blogadda.

  3. Interesting book review...enjoyed reading it. Will surely try to lay my hands on one soon!

    1. Yeah do read it,am sure you'll love it. :D

  4. ohhh...its seems a gr8 read..picking it up after i finish my current read ...thanks dear

    1. You are most welcom. Tell me how you like it ...you can have my copy when you come over to Kolkata.


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