The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
The Devotion of Suspect X is a translation of a Japanese crime fiction into English. A page turner where we the reader know all the details as to who killed whom and who helped to shove away the body, still with all details the reader reads on to know how it plays out in the minds of the police officer and his sidekick friend (the genre of the Sherlock Holmes tale, Bhyomkesh Bakshi, look at any, almost all the time they have an assistant). A popular crime story with all the elements of the detective fiction in place where the mystery lies in how the writer grips the reader to reading it to the end in one go 😉 and that’s art 😀
How is it different>>>>> It is not in our regular Perry Mason or Agatha Christie style, here we know all the whos of the who-dun-it. It is a matter of how the police figure out, how it was done how-dun-it may be. The mystery is in the reconstruction of the crime scene.
Intertextuality >>>>>> As always, the first thought that came to my mind when I saw the book cover, was an earlier book, quite popular, a bestseller which was made into a movie and (did it win an award?) Memoirs of a Geisha, especially the cover page, the eyes and the face and the hair falling on the face… #reading memories
And for a change, we are taken away from the all so familiar western setting of a story, the US or the UK or the Continent, to our eastern neighbour, Japan. Like in the story of the Geisha, Oshin (remember Oshin, an oldtime DD1/2 Japanese serial)
Together with the plot of the story, we discover Japan as well. We enter a new scape, the outside and the interiors of a home with new names to new items of furniture to begin with, sliding doors, it is a little difficult to remember the names–character, places, things, flip a few pages back and forth and you get a hang of it… the description is just right that we walk with the Maths teacher up the river, looking at the dwellers there, looking back if there is a green bicycle in the parking lot…
The feeling is that of being under Potter’s invisiblitly cloak following every action of the characters without their knowledge, like a meta, our place is that of the reader and the silent observer in a new place…
A few tips, if you are reading it for the first time, look out for words that repeat, I wonder how many times, the word logic and its adjective logical is used from page 1. Hold on to it, and combine it with the clues where it is most often used and you are set. Nothing out of place, just like a crime scene wiped clean of all the evidence and then a reconstruction of it… that’s what this story from Japan is all about…
You’ll enjoy it 🙂 I certainly did.
PS: I’m fascinated by cover pages, it is one of our immediate entry into the space of the book, it works like an advert trying to entice a reader to pick it up and read. The book was released in English in 2011 and with a year and a half, we have so many different covers and a couple more publishers. The red of the book attracted me when I spotted it first at the airport a month back, and to my joy, Blogadda gave away 100 copies to review… (And FYI, Harish does send reminder emails when the review is not up on time :P)
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Something to keep you occupied on that long bus/train journey or on a lazy day when it is raining outside, and a cup of coffee beside you, or when you have just finished your work and you need to relax …Highly recommended 🙂
Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime. One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction. (Summary from Flikart)
Author: Keigo Higashino| Book Name: The Devotion of Suspect X (2005 in Japanese) (2011 English)| Genre: Mystery & Detective |Police Procedural | Puzzle | Translation
Happy Reading folks
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