Title : SALVATION OF A SAINT
Language : English
Author : Keigo Higashino ( Translated by Alexander O. Smith )
Genre : Fiction, Thriller
Publisher : Little, Brown Book Group ( October 2, 2012 )
Imprint : ABACUS
ISBN-13 : 9780349139340
ISBN-10 : 0349139342
Binding : Paperback
Price : Rs.350 ( Buy from Flipkart.com for Rs.350/- ( % Off)
Pages : 384
The Book Summary : From the author of the internationally bestselling, award-winning The Devotion of Suspect X comes the latest novel featuring “Detective Galileo”
In 2011, The Devotion of Suspect X was a hit with critics and readers alike. The first major English language publication from the most popular bestselling writer in Japan, it was acclaimed as “stunning,” “brilliant,” and “ingenious.” Now physics professor Manabu Yukawa—Detective Galileo—returns in a new case of impossible murder, where instincts clash with facts and theory with reality. Yoshitaka, who was about to leave his marriage and his wife, is poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee and dies. His wife, Ayane, is the logical suspect—except that she was hundreds of miles away when he was murdered. The lead detective, Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi, is immediately smitten with her and refuses to believe that she could have had anything to do with the crime. His assistant, Kaoru Utsumi, however, is convinced Ayane is guilty. While Utsumi’s instincts tell her one thing, the facts of the case are another matter. So she does what her boss has done for years when stymied—she calls upon Professor Manabu Yukawa. But even the brilliant mind of Dr. Yukawa has trouble with this one, and he must somehow find a way to solve an impossible murder and capture a very real, very deadly murderer. Salvation of a Saint is Keigo Higashino at his mind-bending best, pitting emotion against fact in a beautifully plotted crime novel filled with twists and reverses that will astonish and surprise even the most attentive and jaded of readers.
My Point of View ( P.O.V ) : After a long time I got a mystery book to read and a unique one at that, quite different than most other murder mysteries. Firstly, it is from an internationally acclaimed author and second, here in the book, you find out 'who' ( Tokyo CEO, Yoshitaka ) will die and what will be used to kill in beginning of the book ( end of 1st & end of 2nd chapter ) itself, which then continues in an intriguing tale of why and how it was done - when the murderer was actually miles away from the scene of crime, with ample clue for the readers to guess who the killer could be. Suspicions falls on Ayane Mita ( the victim's wife - as she had previously thought of killing him ) but she has a very strong alibi, and another suspect i.e the mistress ( who is also pregnant with the victim's child ) who saw him last, apparently has no motive. But even then, till after 300 pages or so the mystery is not quite solved. As noone's able to find out how the poison got into the victim's coffee cup in an apparently locked room where he died. Only after reading that many pages you'll finally get the full picture - which turns out to be a rather simply done crime.
Sounds like a puzzle right? It exactly feels like solving one as you flip through the pages, as in this book you view the events from the murderer's point of view.
An interesting character to meet in this book is Detective Galileo ( a.k.a Professor Yukawa ), who will remind you of Sherlock Holmes instantly, though he is more the eccentric sort, but intelligent too and perhaps smarter than the cops. He had informally helped detective Kusanagi in many cases, but they had certain differences in their previous one and Kusanagi hoped, he would not need Yukawa's assistance, but then a new female detective Utsumi, who suspects Kusanagi of falling for the suspect - thus likely to become biased, drags Yukawa into the case as well. And Yukawa is only too eager to play detective and offers his own, sometimes too weird conclusions that noone's thought of, yet somehow works.
The book is interesting because though you kinda know whodunit in the beginning itself, its smart plot - discovering how cleverly it was done ( i.e 'howdunit' and why ) without leaving a shred of evidence, which is more fun. The book in its pacy pages discovers a lot of emotional content with myriad twists & turns, as well as an unbelievable and rather shocking evidence of extreme human deceit and by the end of the book you cant help but wonder - what kinda dark thoughts can lurk in a person's mind.
There are certain loopholes in the book as well, that does creep out occasionally which the author has tried his best to contain, with explanations. Also, though crime is its main focus, the characters esp roles of the detectives are bit puzzling in the book as to who was the lead, but other than these small issues which can be ignored, the book will keep you engrossed till the end. No high speed chases in this thriller, yet being a calm, deep detailed police procedural read, and with its storyline so compelling, it is a gripping celebral thriller and certainly a must read one!
Positives : A complex but very interesting story, got me hooked from the very first page itself. The language in this English translated version is simple, fresh and smooth flowing lucid style and is quite well constructed. This book, I believe, would make a brilliant movie as well. Once you read this book you'll definitely look out for more of Higashino's books. Highly recommended.
Negatives : None! Except maybe bit little difficult to remember the elaborate Japanese names, certain unexplained loopholes and its price!
Who will enjoy this? - Everyone! Especially those who love mystery/thriller.
Buy or Don’t Buy? – A Must Buy!
About the Author : Keigo Higashino has contributed to Salvation of a Saint as an author. KEIGO HIGASHINO is currently the bestselling author in Japan with over three dozen bestsellers, hundreds of millions of copies of his books sold worldwide, and nearly twenty films and television series based on his work. Keigo Higashino was born in the lowest of lowly ghettos in Osaka, to poor parents, in a tiny house that in his words was, "always one room short." He lived off hand-me-downs, and from girls at that. Always lonely, he took to reading massive amounts of fiction- anything he could get his hands on. Keigo Higashino started writing novels while still working as an engineer at Nippon Denso Co. (presently DENSO). He won the prestigious Edogawa Rampo Award, which is awarded annually to the unpublished finest horror/mystery work, in 1985 for the novel Hōkago (After School) at age 27, and his other novel, "Naoko "has been turned into a blockbuster film ("Himitsu" or Secret in Japanese). Subsequently, he quit his job and started a career as a writer in Tokyo. He won the Naoki Prize for his first novel featuring Detective Galileo.
In 1999, he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for the novel Himitsu (The Secret), which was translated into English by Kerim Yasar and published by Vertical Inc. under the title of Naoko in 2004. In 2006, he won the 134th Naoki Prize for The Devotion of Suspect X (Yōgisha X no Kenshin). His novels had been nominated five times before winning with this novel. The novel also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Grand Prize and was ranked as the number-one novel by Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2006 and 2006 Honkaku Mystery Best 10, annual mystery fiction guide books published in Japan. He writes not only mystery novels, but also essays and story books for children. The style of writing differs from his novels, but basically he does not use as many characters as in his novels.
ALEXANDER O. SMITH has translated a wide variety of novels, manga, and video games, for which he has been nominated for the Eisner Award, and won the ALA's Batchelder Award. He studied at Dartmouth College and holds an M.A. in Classical Japanese from Harvard University. He lives in Vermont.
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