The Devotion of Suspect X

I picked up the book with a nice cup of masala chai over a nice Saturday morning…. And the rest as they say was history. I never quite put the book down. It doesn’t let you. You just go on and one with it. You get engrossed in it, are smitten by it and forget how time flies. The book is called The Devotion of Suspect X and has been written by Keigo Higashino.

My expectations were already very high since I had read this on Wikipedia: “The Devotion of Suspect X is a 2005 novel by Keigo Higashino, the third in his Detective Galileo series and is his most acclaimed work thus far. The novel won him numerous awards, including the 134th Naoki Prize, which is a highly regarded award in Japan. The novel also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Grand Prize, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the mystery novels category in Japan. 2006 Honkaku Mystery Best 10 and Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2006, annual mystery fiction guide books published in Japan, ranked the novel as the number one.” But the book did not disappoint me.

Translated really well by Alexander O. Smith, the book works well to serve its genere though at times I felt that more complex emotions needed to be described in detail. Still, the suspense and urgency build well. And the fact that the language was so simple aided the dedicated reading, unlike a lot of other books I read, this one did not mame me pick up the dictionary or google even once!

As always I loved the characters and enjoyed the book more because I was able to sympathizes and empathize with them. The key people in the story are Ishigami: Brilliant mathematician masterminding the story, Kusanagi: Detective on the case, Yukawa: Physicist, eccentric genius, friend of both Kusanagi and Ishigami and Yasuko: Murders her ex-husband Togashi, along with daughter. Needless to say, it is Ishigami who wins your heart through and through.

I have to say I was heartbroken in the end because of my fondness for Ishigami, but I will refrain from saying too much here so as to not let out the plot. In a way, everything he did made perfect sense and hats off to the author for such detailed plotting!

The book was made into a movie in 2008 by Hiroshi Nishitani. I have not seen the movie so I searched a bit for it on the internet. An IMDB review says that the film has many many epic, well-executed slow motion scenes, and somehow he completely removed dorama cheesiness for majority of the play time. The review also says, “Although I liked the comedy in the dorama series, I'm glad they changed the style for this movie. The plot involved very little physics and mathematics, but focused on the human side of the guest characters: What was the motivation for Suspect X's involvement? The meaning of the title "Devotion of Suspect X", devotion indeed. This is one of those movies that sinks in a while after the ending credits.” I think I will have to watch this one!

You can laugh at me if you want but one thing which I feel like doing now that I have finished reading the book is eating Japanese food. :| All the times that Ishigami went to pick up his special lunch box, I wondered what was inside it! Ok, anyway :P Go pick up the book if you want a thrilling experience right on your couch in a stunning Japanese setting, with believable characters and a gripping storline.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


Voice said…
This book is becoming popular in India ... I guess. Many people seem to be reading this book lately
Canary said…
Yes this is getting very popular. It is interesting if you love reading thrillers - go pick a copy! You can even sign up on for reviews program and get such fabulous books to review on your blog!

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