The Devotion of Suspect X is not so much a who dunnit as a who done what?
Keigo Higashino Well, what can I tell you about this one? Without giving too much away, The Devotion of Suspect X is not so much a who dunnit as a who done what?
Gently paced, the writing is curiously Japanese in that it’s mannerly and measured, even while dealing with the most heinous of crimes.
Higashino is described as ‘the Japanese Stieg Larsson’ but, for me, the Larsson novels go into rather too much gory detail whereas this is a much more cerebral offering – well, obviously apart from the pretty brutal murder in the first few pages.
Yasuko is the beautiful ex nightclub hostess whose life is thrown into disarray when her former husband turns up. They fight, she kills him – don’t worry we’re only at page 27 so far – and Ishigami, her staid, school teacher neighbour steps in to help cover up the crime.
The rest is a tale of genius planning which keeps the police guessing as Ishigami constructs an elaborate plot to save Yasuko from jail.
It’s beautifully written with twists and turns explained in such a way that they become easily comprehensible while at the same time there is no obvious device or co-incidence thus keeping the story believable no matter how fantastic.
The book blurb tells of a sting in the tail and Devotion certainly has that, I was fooled despite half expecting it, to say the end is shocking would be an understatement. All in all, this is a really good read so it’s no surprise that it’s sold more than 2 million copies and is shortlisted for Best Novel in the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards 2012.