The Devotion Of Suspect X – Keigo Higashino

Keigo Higashino is an amazing Japanese author. His stories usually delve into crime and thriller genres, but he often writes dramas too. He is known for his gripping narrative and jaw-dropping twists. His most popular works are The Devotion of Suspect X (2005), Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2015), A Midsummer’s Equation (2016) and his fan favourite character is ‘Detective Galileo’. He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize in 1985. Later in 2009, he was elected as the President of Mystery Writers of Japan. His works have been adapted into several award-winning movies and television series.

His most successful novel is The Devotion of Suspect X. It is a crime novel with a new twist. At the beginning of the novel, we get to know who the victim and who the killer is. The rest of the novel deals with how the killer escapes from the police. Rather than creating an adrenaline-fueled action thriller, Higashino shows what a common man with no powers can do. What ensues is one of the most enthralling and emotional detective cases.

The story begins with two neighbours, Tetsuya Ishigami (a talented mathematics teacher) and Yasuko Hanaoka (a single divorcee mother). Togashi (Yasuko’s ex-husband) comes to their home and threatens Yasuko and her daughter to give him money. In an act of self-defence, the mother and daughter end up killing him. Overhearing this ruckus, Tetsuya figures out the situation and offers them help. Soon he plans to dispose of the body and covering up the murder. Later, the police employ the help of Manabu Yukawa, Tetsuya’s former classmate who is equally intelligent and cunning. The rest of the story shows an engaging battle of wits.

The author’s style of writing is truly unique. He accomplishes complex storytelling in a few understandable words. Unlike Haruki Murakami or Yukio Mishima, Higashino tells his story in a short and fathomable way. This makes an even more riveting experience for the reader. By the last ten pages, you will be shaking with excitement as each page brings you closer to the climax of the story.

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