Both of these books deal with a police detective named Kusanagi, and his unconventional, genius physics professor friend, Yukawa. The Devotion of Suspect X is a brilliant cat and mouse game between the primary suspect and Yukawa, who used to be friends. Since they each knows how the other thinks, the story plays out with several intellectual feints and twists, and when it all comes together, the solution will surprise you. Unable to find any evidence, Kaoru Utsumi turns to Dr.
Galileo for help. This play on the classic whodunit has more to do with how it was done, and once again, the answer will throw you for a loop. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. I am getting to be a fan of Detective Galileo. Not because it is hard to put into words what the story holds without giving away spoilers.
But because a detective novel usually doesn't give a reviewer much to go on, aside from a mystery and its solution. But despite being a book of the same genre, Salvation of a Saint , provides ample food for thought on the complexities of the human mind and offers the reader some philosophical meanderings to go with a regular offering of a mind-boggling mystery. Without delay, let me get to the summary now. Yoshitaka and Ayane Mashiba have been married for one year and yet their marriage is already falling apart.
Because turns out, both of them had agreed to treat marriage like a contractual agreement in which if Ayane fails to conceive a child within a year they will part ways. And, of course, Ayane has failed to conceive at the end of the stipulated time period. So what happens next? Yoshitaka declares he is leaving her because he has already found prospective new baby-producer to replace Ayane. And it turns out that she is none other than Ayane's protege, Hiromi Wakayama, whose talent Ayane has helped hone herself.
And to put the cap on this madness, Yoshitaka gets killed in his apartment while Ayane is away in Sapporo on a visit to her parents and the detective in charge of the investigation falls for Ayane at first sight even though she becomes the chief suspect. But then of course, she has a rock solid alibi. She was away from Tokyo when Yoshitaka was murdered. How do you kill when you are physically hundreds of miles away from the scene of the crime?
Here in lies the novelty of Salvation of a Saint. It's not a whodunit as much as it is a howdunit. To me the real villain of the story remains the victim and not the murderer.
Salvation of a Saint
Because men who treat women like baby-producing machines and switch to one from another as easily as changing clothes, deserve to be at least squarely kicked in their family jewels, if not murdered outright. And I'm pleased to find out there are no misogynistic undertones in this narrative since Higashino doesn't gloss over this fact. Now for my verdict on Higashino as a writer:- If you are acquainted with anime such as Death Note, Monster or Detective School Q Tantei Gakuen Kyu , you are bound to know that the Japanese, being big fans of logical reasoning and the science of deduction, have a penchant for creating stories with a worthwhile mystery at its center.
And Keigo Higashino upholds that cherished tradition with this well-plotted novel. He excels at creating a mystery which appears convoluted and unsolvable at the outset, but when it unravels slowly and all the pieces of the puzzle start falling into their place, the solution doesn't baffle one as much as the killer's dedication towards the very act of the murder does. But I have a bone to pick with the translation - it doesn't always do a good job of capturing the true cadence of Japanese speech and the awkward sentence construction feels jarring at times.
A significant thing about this book is instead of one detective giving it his all to solve a murder, it gives you 3. The detective in charge of the investigation, Kusanagi finds his judgement dangerously clouded by his growing fascination for Ayane. While his assistant Kaoru Utsumi, stubbornly convinced of the fact that Ayane is the killer, seeks out physics professor cum detective extraordinaire, Manabu Yukawa aka Detective Galileo to help her out. But even while pursuing separate leads, all 3 of them arrive at the same answer. The characters are not badly sketched caricatures but appear as people who could actually exist.
The calmness of Ayane's demeanour even under suspicion, Utsumi's doggedness, Yukawa's brilliance and Kusanagi's quiet dignity shine through. Kusanagi and Yukawa's friendship, rivalry and the grudging respect they have for each other add another dimension to the story.
And it reminds one of the Lestrade and Holmes equation because like Lestrade, Kusanagi is the one getting the credit even though most of the work is done by Yukawa. Although a comparison between Lestrade and Kusanagi won't be fair since the former was essentially a pompous idiot while Kusanagi is balanced and reasonable. It is also interesting to take note of Kusanagi's increasing concern over his own evaluation of the murder and the subsequent investigation - is he being objective or is he being too judgemental?
His inner turmoil leads him to ponder over what makes a person commit a murder and the effect it has on their personality:- "Kusanagi had met plenty of good, admirable people who'd been turned into murderers quite by circumstance. There was something about them he always seemed to sense, an aura that they shared. Somehow, their trangression freed them from the confines of mortal existence, allowing them to perceive the great truths of the universe.
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At the same time, it meant they had one foot in forbidden territory. They straddled the line between sanity and madness. Hence an impressed 3 stars. Highly recommended to lovers of mysteries and it doesn't hurt either if you are a fan of Japanese literature in addition to that. S:- I apologize for not shedding any light on how the title of the book relates to the murder or the core of the story. But to do that would be to reveal the crux of the story itself, which would be doing the future reader a grave injustice.
Review as in Aura of Sleepless Dreams View all 8 comments. Jan 26, Barbara rated it liked it Shelves: wom-flipping-the-pages.
Salvation of a Saint- A Summary
Wealthy businessman Yoshitaka Mashiba tells his wife Ayane that he's divorcing her because she hasn't become pregnant. He reminds Ayane this was the deal when they married - a baby on the way within a year or he looks for someone new. Meanwhile Yoshitaka has been having an affair with Hiromi, Ayane's apprentice in the art of quilt making.
Heartbroken, Ayane goes off for the weekend to visit her parents. While she's away Yoshitaka is murdered with arsenic-laced coffee. The police suspect Ayane, b Wealthy businessman Yoshitaka Mashiba tells his wife Ayane that he's divorcing her because she hasn't become pregnant. The police suspect Ayane, but she has an ironclad alibi.
To add to their problems, the police can't figure out how the arsenic got into the coffee. Detective Kusanagi and his team question Yoshitaka's friends and acquaintances but have trouble advancing the case.
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So the female detective on the team, Kaoru Utsumi, consults the brilliant physicist Yukawa, who's a whiz at solving difficult cases. Eventually the ingenious murder method and the killer are uncovered. I liked the new slant on murder weapons but the resolution was not very believable or satisfying to me. All in all I thought the book read like a typical cozy, but I would have liked the characters to be more fully developed and more interesting.
Salvation of a Saint is another impressive novel, a successor of the Devotion of Suspect X in the thriller series 'Detective Galileo'.
This book revolves around a perfect crime: a crime which is so proficiently crafted that it leaves no evidence or trace behind to pinpoint the criminal; the unsolvability of the crime depends on the skill of the criminal rather than the incompetence of the investigator. We later learn that the victim had made up his mind to divorce his wife so, the wife is a logical suspect here, as there scarcely appears anyone else who had a definite motive and who might have constructed such a scheme to end Yoshikata.
The thing is the murder was committed when the wife was miles away which would make it impossible to carry out. Unfortunately, our lead detective Kusanagi is enchanted by the wife and denies any allegations against her. But, even Yukawa has a hard time decoding this one. It leads the two friends to split in different directions and pursue different paths to find the killer.
What follows is the elaborate observation of the clues to rule out different possibilities to get to the heart of the crime.
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This book is well detailed and cleverly constructed and the information is disclosed one step at a time with tiny twists. The characters are likable and witty.
The plot is very simple. Turning a simple plot into a complex story is the forte of the author! Even though the identity of the criminal is revealed in the first few pages, you need not worry, as it does not hinder the mystery.