The Devotion of Suspect X

Keigo Higashino, trans. from the Japanese by Alexander O, Smith with Elye J. Alexander. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-37506-5
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. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
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