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.
I was very much looking forward to this book as it was recommended by one of my trusted members, and her recommendations never disappoint. Filled with intrigue, suspense and the unusual knowledge of what crime was committed, and by whom, this book kept me interested until the very last page. Although we know all of the facts (or we think we do) there is still a deeply woven sub-plot that unfolds throughout the story. One that I didn’t see coming and unravelled quite a dramatic ending.
Although this was somewhat different from your normal crime novel, the group enjoyed reading it and it kicked off some interesting discussions. The book itself was quite an easy read, and I managed to finish it in just three sittings, but the story wasn’t hindered by the easy style and Higashino manages to evoke a real sense of place right in the heart of Tokyo life. Many of the group thought that the sub-plot seemed a little unusual and almost pointless, but as we discussed the events that lead to the ending we actually began to see what a wonderfully crafted piece of work this book really was. What at first seemed irrelevant later became a piece of genius and I for one was very impressed by the detail and complexity of the novel. Having said that, the book wasn’t confusing or over-filled with information. In fact, it read very well and I’d be happy to read another novel by this author.
Some of the group did have reservations about this book in that it wasn’t quite the ‘next Stieg Larsson’, but as we discussed the book in more detail I could see people changing their views and opinions once we had all aired our views. It’s one of the things I love about book group meetings because I’m normally the one who changes my mind after hearing what others have to say. Sometimes, our own views can be clouded by certain niggles and issues but once we discuss these out in the open we can sometimes see the bigger picture. This seemed to be one of those books.
An unusually written and plotted novel that has all the hallmarks of an excellent thriller, but with that exotic flavour of something that bit different. Certainly worth a read for any crime and thriller fan. Give it a whirl – you might be pleasantly surprised.
I also found a trailer to the film and found it quite interesting. Take a peek here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaiS32Oblgg it won’t spoil it if you haven’t read it. Promise!