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The Devotion of Suspect X    by Keigo Higashino order for
Devotion of Suspect X
by Keigo Higashino
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2011 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

When Yasuko Hanaoka, a divorced, single mother, kills her abusive ex-husband after he appears at her apartment one evening, she never imagines that her enigmatic neighbor will come to her rescue.

A reclusive but brilliant mathematician and high school teacher, Ishigami has silently admired Yasuko and now he takes this unfortunate situation as a means of becoming her benefactor in a very unusual manner.

Telling his neighbor that 'logical thinking will get us through this', Ishigami not only disposes of the body but he also creates an elaborate alibi for Yasuko. In a clever game, predicting and then countering the police investigators' every move, the mathematician constructs a scenario that deflects suspicion away from Yasuko.

It is only when Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a former college acquaintance of Ishigami and a friend of one of the detectives, is drawn into the investigation that Ishigami's clever scheme begins to come unraveled.

A tightly plotted novel with some very surprising twists, this captivating story introduces one of Japan's most successful mystery writers to English speaking readers. Subtle, yet ingenious, in the way the characters relate to one another and the story unfolds, this beguiling novel proves once again that an intellectual battle of wits easily trumps naked violence!

Hopefully more of this talented writer's works will be translated into English! For quite some time Keigo Higashino's novels have not only topped Japan's bestsellers' lists but they have also been adapted into major films and television series. He is a writer whom mystery fans will find fascinating.

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