Book Review : The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
25th July, 2016
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?
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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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