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The Devotion of Suspect X
Cover of The Devotion of Suspect X
The Devotion of Suspect X
Detective Galileo Series, Book 1
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Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko's next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step. When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko's manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there's something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko's next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step. When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko's manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there's something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

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About the Author-
  • 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.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine In this unusual mystery and the resulting battle of wits it recounts, the listener learns early on the full details of the murder of Togashi and the roles played by his ex-wife, Yasuko; daughter, Misato; and their neighbor, Ishigami. David Pittu narrates with a considered and almost-conversational style, allowing the main focus of the story, the investigation of the murder and the interaction between the protagonists, to gently unfold. Since the text has been translated from Japanese, the listener's initial lack of familiarity with some of the Japanese names can cause some confusion regarding the characters. However, as the story and narration draw one in, confusion is dispelled, and a high-quality listen ensues. K.J.P. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 28, 2011
    In this tightly plotted crime novel, Higashino pits a brilliant math teacher, Tetsuya Ishigami, against Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a shrewd physicist whose deductive prowess has earned him the nickname Detective Galileo. When Ishigami overhears his lovely neighbor, Yasuko Hanaoka, strangling her abusive ex-husband in the next apartment, he rushes to her aid. Smitten, he concocts a perfect, if complex, alibi for her. It's enough to mystify the investigating detective, but when Dr. Yukawa, the policeman's friend, begins his own sleuthing, and Yasuko falls in love with another man, both alibi and participants bend under the pressure. Even with its surprises and twists, the story unfolds in a manner more intellectually satisfying than emotionally gripping. But David Pittu's narration adds a humanity and passion to the proceedings, especially evident in the scenes in which Ishigami goes head to head with wily Dr. Yukawa. The former's calm manner of speaking seems to be concealing a feverishly working mind, while the doctor is evidently enjoying himself immensely. Pittu transforms those and other moments from mere wordplay into a thrilling game of cat and mouse in the Alfred Hitchcock tradition. A Minotaur hardcover.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from April 15, 2011
    A brilliant Tokyo mathematician secretly longs for his beautiful neighbor. When he overhears her killing her brutal ex-husband in self-defense, he helps her to conceal the crime. Assigned to the case is Detective Kusanagi, who enlists the aid of Yukawa, a physics professor whose help he has previously solicited. The Holmesian Yukawa, however, is torn, as the mathematician is his old college friend. Higashino's mysteries are immensely popular in Japan, with several, including this one, adapted into films or TV dramas there. What might be classified as a procedural develops considerable psychological depth, aided by Tony Award-winning actor David Pittu's subtle, sensitive reading, through which he artfully manages to accentuate the characters' conflicted emotions. Recommended for crime novel enthusiasts and those interested in Japanese culture. [The Minotaur: St. Martin's hc, winner of Japan's prestigious Naoki Prize, also received a starred review, "LJ"11/15/10.—Ed.]—Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib.

    Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 6, 2010
    Higashino won Japan's Naoki Prize for Best Novel with this stunning thriller about miscarried human devotion, a bestseller in Japan. Pretty Tokyo divorcée Yasuko Hanaoka, secretly adored by her neighbor, lonely mathematician Ishigami, strangles her abusive ex-husband when he threatens her daughter, only to find herself suffocating in Ishigami's "perfect defense based on perfect logic," his plot to save her from arrest. As the police investigation proceeds, Ishigami's schoolmate, physicist Manabu Yukawa, plays chess with detective Kusanagi and elegant cat-and-mouse with Ishigami, while wealthy Mr. Kudo wins Yasuko's heart but, fatally, not her conscience. The characters' Japanese names can be confusing, but overall 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.

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The Devotion of Suspect X
Detective Galileo Series, Book 1
Keigo Higashino
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