The Devotion of Suspect X (Detective Galileo) ペーパーバック – 2012/2/28
"...The best mystery novel I read [last year] was a standalone translation of a Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X... a puzzle mystery that manages never to become a cozy... Ishigami, a mathematical genius who, through the vicissitudes of academic life has become a mere high school teacher, has fallen in love with the divorced mother-of-one who lives next door, and when she commits a killing in self-defense, he takes over the crime scene and arranges a brilliant deception that completely fools the police... [The Devotion of Suspect X] is smart at every level. Each revelation is smarter than the illusion it tears aside. And the conclusion, which depends on understanding of human character rather than logic or science, is both satisfying and frustrating. Satisfying, because it is utterly just and true to character; frustrating, because quite against our own moral sense we find ourselves rooting for the bad guy - because we understand him so well he doesn't seem all that bad." --Orson Scott Card"Higashino won Japan's Naoki Prize for Best Novel with this stunning thriller about miscarried human devotion, a bestseller in Japan. The author successfully combines unquestionable reasoning with unquenchable pain. In this brutally laconic translation, cold logic battles warm hearts throughout this elegant proof of the wages of sin, in which everyone suffers and no one can ever win." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Winner of Japan's prestigious Naoki Prize and a bestseller there with more than two million copies sold, this literary psychological thriller is a subtle and shifting murder mystery. It will make readers redefine devotion and trust in an otherwise complete stranger." --Library Journal (starred review) "Veteran police detective matches wits with a brilliant rookie criminal. This character-driven mystery by the prolific Higashino has much to recommend, including a droll Columbo-like sleuth and a great surprise ending." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "In The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino weaves a web of intellectual gamesmanship in which the truth is a weapon that leads both police and readers astray. The ingenius conclusion is so unexpected that it's difficult to imagine anyone seeing it coming. Smart, smart characters." --Jaqueline Winspear "How could we have ever imagined, without the help of a novel like this, that Japanese life could be so fraught with suffering and so entertaining all at once?" --Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News on HIMITSU (The Secret), published as NAOKO in the U.S. "Higashino is a deft conjurer of human relationships, and while this is first and foremost a tale of grief-- --he infuses it with spasms of sharp humor." --East Bay Express on Himitsu (The Secret) "The Devotion of Suspect X has all the brilliant intricacy of the best Golden Age mysteries - puzzle within puzzle, twist after twist - with a modern sensibility. It is a wonderful, fresh take on the classic mystery's intellectual struggle between protagonist and antagonist, adds to it all the right amounts of tension and pacing, places it in a fascinating setting, and gives of all of this plenty of heart." --Jan Burke, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author of Kidnapped and Bones "Japanese crime writers excel at many things: one is the slow tightening of the noose that's at the fast-pounding heart of the police procedural. The Devotion of Suspect X is a terrific book in that tradition and it's about time American readers got a crack at it." --SJ Rozan, Edgar Award winning author of Winter and Night and On the Line "The Devotion of Suspect X is elegant and spare and gripping and vivid. Most of all, however, it is deeply moving, and this is what sets it apart!" --Jesse Kellerman, bestselling author of Trouble and The Executor "Irresistible! A mind-twisting story that will have readers plunging in to try to solve the crime before the math genius, the physics professor, or the cop get there first." --Nancy Pickard, New York Times bestselling author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning and The Virgin of Small Plains
Born in Osaka and currently living in Tokyo, KEIGO HIGASHINO is one of the most widely known and bestselling novelists in Japan. He is the winner of the Edogawa Rampo Prize (for best mystery), the Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc. Prize (for best mystery) among others. His novels are translated widely throughout Asia.
ALEXANDER O. SMITH has translated a broad variety of novels, manga, and video games, for which he has been nominated for the Eisner Award, and won the ALA's Batchelder Award (for his translation of Miyuki Miyabe's Brave Story), and been recognized for his localizations of the video games Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII. He lives with his family in Vermont.
- ASIN : 1250002699
- 出版社 : Minotaur Books (2012/2/28)
- 発売日 : 2012/2/28
- 言語 : 英語
- ペーパーバック : 312ページ
- ISBN-10 : 9781250002693
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250002693
- 寸法 : 14.66 x 2.16 x 20.68 cm
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 206,811位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
Apart from the implications drawn from the plot, you can truly enjoy the trick displayed in the book, which is unheard of, and how Yukawa approaches the problem is just amazing.
I am certain that readers worldwide will enjoy the story as it unfolds. A page-turner.
Simple language, sometimes bordering on twee (perhaps as a result of the translation from Japanese to English), it was a pageturner but not unputdownable.
Being an intermittent reader, it took me a long time to finish but some might say this could be read in one sitting.
It could be said that not much in terms of the plot happened during most of the book, with the 'twist' and story only being tied together at the very end but somehow it kept me drawn in and wanting to find out how it ended.
Unfortunately, the knockout blow never really came and I was left slightly disappointed by what was otherwise a cogent story. Perhaps it was the (over)recommendation, perhaps it was the way the story padded out a lot of the book with interesting character interaction that left me wanting more...it never quite came though. Overall good, but not great.
No spoilers here.
“How short is a lifetime […] compared to the time it will take humankind to find all the rich veins of mathematical ore where they lie sleeping and tease them forth into the world.”
The detailed review of this book posted elsewhere under my name is too long or impractical to post here.
Above is one of my observations at the time of the review.
Ishikawa the mathematician is expertly drawn. After I finished reading I couldn't shake off the feeling of frustration that there was no space for his genius in the modern Japanese society, which probably pushed him towards his crime. If he was able to submerge himself in the world's mathematical enigmas instead of teaching hopeless youth, he probably wouldn't have thrown his genius to cover for an unremarkable unhappy woman.
The investigation is shown very subtly and develops mostly via dialogues. About midway through the book I got a bit tired. I couldn't make sense why seemingly irrelevant details got rolled over and discussed endlessly. Almost lost interest. But it all fell into place in most unexpected and unforeseen way.
It doesn't have a happy ending but a story of human emotions that strong probably shouldn't anyway.
This work also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Award, considered one of the most prestigious awards in the mystery novels category in Japan, plus several others, gathering acclaim from critics and readers alike. The English translation was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Barry Award for Best First Novel.
The story follows Tetsuya Ishigami and Yasuko Hanaoka, as they go about their daily routines. Yasuko is a divorced single mother who works in a restaurant packing bentos for its local clientele. Ishigami is a highly talented mathematics teacher, who lives next door to Yasuko and her daughter, and is a regular at the bento shop and is secretly enamoured with Yasuko. This quiet safe and monotonous routine explodes when Yasuko's violent ex-husband Togashi, tracks her down with the aim of extorting money from her by intimidating both Yasuko and her daughter, Yasuko, has been here before and just wants to get rid of him, so he attempts to use her daughter as a means of extortion. When this fails he loses his cool & in a rage begins to hit out, this situation escalates rapidly and ends with being him being killed by the mother and daughter. Whilst horror-struck and paralysed by what they've done, there’s a knock on the door.
Attempting to establish some order in the flat, Yasuko then answers the door, to find Ishigami standing there; who having heard the commotion, has somehow deduced its cause and is offering to help. In fact he is offering to remove all responsibility for disposing of the body, and is plotting a means of covering up the murder & to organise an alibi for the mother and daughter.
Eventually the body is found and despite a reasonably airtight alibi Kusanagi, the detective in charge of the case looks in Yasuko’s direction, partially because there are no other suspects & partially because despite no obvious holes in her alibi, he feels that there's something wrong with her story, that it just doesn't sit right with him.
So far a fairly standard detective novel, but this is more than that, what I haven’t mentioned is that although Ishigami is working as a maths teacher it appears that he is hiding his light under a bushel, it turns out that he was something of a maths prodigy and still could be described as a genius when it comes to issues of maths and logic. Add to this the detective Kusanagi, has a friend Dr Manabu Yukawa, a physicist who frequently consults with the police and who could also wear the badge of genius lightly - and he is an old friend of Ishigami. What follows is a tightly constructed game of cat and mouse between the Detective who has his sights on Yasuko and Ishigami who is directing things from the shadows, it falls to Yukawa, to see what is really going on and in doing so realises the love & devotion that Ishigami has for the divorced Yasuko and also the lengths Ishigami is willing to go to sacrifice himself for that love.
Because despite this book having a plethora of awards & critics stating what a fantastic detective, crime, mystery novel this is – it isn't.
What this really is, is a romance, a tale of unrequited love and obsession masquerading as all of the above, as a mystery novel it is great, as crime fiction it is fantastic, as a work of detective writing it is wonderful, but what raises it above all of those is that deep dark tale of a love that is willing - despite no chance of being requited - of doing whatever it takes to safeguard the person it is directed at. What raises this beyond the standard ideal of crime fiction is the character of Ishigami and the sacrifices he is willing to make to protect Yasuko, and it is only towards the end of this journey does his old friend work out how dark and bloody and how fatal this tale becomes & with it he sees the depths of the math teachers love and devotion.