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Book Review : The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

25th July, 2016

Book Review : The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

A single mom and her child are under the radar because of a murder. If the truth is proved to be wrong, does it mean it will cease to exist?

Review :

I came to know about the book when I watched the Malayalam movie Drishyam few years ago. The movie was brilliant but there were allegations that the story was inspired by The Devotion of Suspect X, which were repeatedly denied by the director Jeethu Joseph. Later I watched the Tamil version of the movie, which was good and thankfully didn’t watch the Hindi version, Drishya, which was a horrible re-make. As each remake came out, I became curious about the novel many film watchers alleged that the movie is based on. I wanted to find the truth by myself and picked up the book.

In Brief :

Yasuko lives a quiet life as a single mom with her daughter Misato. One day her ex husband, Tigoshi, barges into her life again. Her neighbour, the gentle soft spoken Maths teacher, Ishigami, has a soft spot for Yasuko. He is an introvert and does not socialize with others,but buys his lunch every day from the place Yasuko works at. When Tigoshi is rumoured to be murdered, Yasuko becomes the prime suspect. Until many versions of the truth, each unflawed, begin to surface

My Thoughts :

The atmosphere is tense throughout, yet this is not a read that gives you the thrills of a murder mystery. It does leave you glued to the book in a very different way – Ishigami tries to cover up the truth in ‘logical ways’ that one is left wondering about how the case can be solved throughout the book. There are a lot of twists. What makes the book stand out is the fact that you know from the first chapter who the murderer is. With two equally intelligent brains on either side of the game, the reader gets sucked into the maze that Higashino creates. 

I loved the fact that there is emotion as well as an unfurling mystery in the book. The characters are bonded by faith and deception, which makes this an engrossing read. It is a well rounded murder story that I finished it in one sitting and immensely enjoyed it as well.

Final Verdict :

I would highly recommend The Devotion of Suspect X. As for my quest to see if the movie is based on the book, I cannot provide a solid answer. There is a weak skeletal thread that seems familiar in the movie and the book, but since the overall setting is so different I do feel that a similar idea must have struck two different people. My experience in watching the movie and reading the book were vastly different. I am sure if one peers long enough at the narrative it would seem very similar to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn too. But they are very different in their own right as well.

On the whole, this book is an amazing murder mystery, well written story with memorable characters.

Title : The Devotion of Susapect X
Author : Keigo Higashino
Publisher : Hachette India
Published : 2012 ( Originally in 2005)
Language : English
Pages : 374
Rating : 4.5/5

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The Devotion of Suspect X

Let's discuss

Do you enjoy books with murders and mysteries? Have you read any books by Keigo Higashino? Do you have any recommendations for me?

About the Author

Keigo Higashino is a Japanese author who is famous for his murder mysteries. He started writing novels while still working as an engineer at Nippon Denso Co.(presently DENSO). Subsequently, he quit his job and started a career as a writer in Tokyo. He has won numerous awards there after and all his books have been best sellers

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This Post Has 32 Comments
  1. You’ve managed to accentuate the creepiness of the book with that black background and wilting roses. Great pic and review as always. 🙂

  2. I love Japanese thrillers! I’ve never heard of this book or the movie that it allegedly inspired, but I am now curious about both. Have you read anything by Ryu Murakami?

  3. I have seen the Hindi Drishyam, and quite liked it. But of course, I always lower my standards when I am watching Bollywood fare. Didn’t know that it was inspired by this book. The story seems a little different from what I remember of the Hindi movie. All the more reason to go read this book I guess 🙂

    1. Glad you liked the movie in that case. There were allegations that it was inspired but when I read I found only a faint skeleton of the actual storyline. In any case the book is a good read too. The story is entirely different except that they make up events that seem like the truth but are actually not

  4. This book sounds very intriguing. I love a good twist on the murder mystery genre, and to know the murderer from the very beginning and still keep the tension within the story, is something that very much appeals to me. Fantastic review, this book is definitely on my tbr list now!

  5. This looks great! I have just gotten into reading books with mystery / thriller elements, like Gone Girl – I think I will pick this one up next

  6. Nice review! Higashino is one of the authors who I always read by default. I would recommend Salvation of a Saint and Malice by him.

  7. Nice review. Sounds like a very engrossing thriller. The Japanese seem to do a good line in these creepy stories. Have you ever read anything by Yoko Ogawa? If not then you might find her work of interest, particularly her collection of interlinked stories, Revenge.

  8. Haven’t heard about this but when I was in when I read in the cover “The Japanese Stieg Larsson”. But I like the sound of it from your review. Might read it one day

  9. I had never heard of this book before but it sounds like a fascinating read, especially the idea that you already know who the murderer is from the beginning. Thanks for the great review!

  10. That’s an interesting concept of revealing who the murderer is, right from the beginning. I read lots of thrillers, so I’m trying to think of one that may have done that. And the only think that may come close is another novel by a Japanese author called Confessions. I’m curious about the atmosphere of this book if it doesn’t have a murder mystery feel.

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