Kaion's Reviews > The Devotion of Suspect X

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
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's review
Oct 22, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: thriller, asia
Read in December, 2010

A hard-working single mother, Yasuko is surprised by the implication when her boss points out that Yasuko’s otherwise unsociable neighbor Ishigama comes by especially to buy a boxed lunch from her every day. But when a typical visit by her violent ex-husband to hustle her for money ends in his death, she's positively shocked, if thankful, when the seemingly-ordinary high school math teacher not only immediately deduces the crime but also offers to help cover it up.

The Devotion of Suspect X is an entertaining crime thriller that is not a 'whodunit', but instead bases its mystery on how Ishigama will save Yasuko and her daughter, and to an extent, why he is determined to do so. It's wonderfully tense, especially once the lead Detective on the case, Kusanagi calls upon his friend Yukama for advice. Yukama, full-time physics professor and sometime-police consultant (earning himself the nickname ‘Detective Galileo’), knows Ishigama from their shared college days… and the stage is set for a battle of wits between the three men.

I had a bit of a case of sludgy vacation brain when I sat down to read The Devotion of Suspect X, and it turned out to be just the right book for that affliction. Entertaining, snappy, and clever enough to keep me engaged but not so much as to be convoluted—it reminded me of nothing more than an episode of a solid crime procedural. (So I wasn’t the least bit surprised to learn that there already was a Japanese TV series Galileo based on Keigo Higashino’s writing, complete with a jump to the big screen for a movie in 2008 based on Suspect X.) Totally non-essential, like mental comfort candy, and I mean that in the best way. Rating: 3.5 stars

*I received an ARC of this book from LibraryThing. I did find it a little disorientating that it was no way made clear that the book was either part of a series, or featured a recurring character in Detective Galileo. But perhaps this was amended in the final translated version.
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