May 26, 2012

2 million people can't be wrong...

When you see a back-cover like this, won't you be tempted to pick up the book? 

But that wasn't the reason why I picked up the novel. I received this as a part of Blogadda's book review scheme. And am I glad, I applied for this one. Because even though the back cover of the book vaguely talks about a murder and police work, it completely fails to highlight what a brilliant read the novel is...

The novel has everything a good murder mystery should have. It has a certain speed, not breakneck or mind numbing but easy going enough that you are hardly bored by it. It has interesting characters and their interpersonal relationships. After a long while I read a novel where story develops via intelligent dialogues between characters. As I said earlier, this is a murder mystery, but unlike any other, the story is not about "Who killed the guy?" or even about "How the police hunted the killer?"

By the time you reach page no 28, the murder is already committed and that too "front of your eyes", so to speak. You know who the killer is, and who the victim is. While you are thinking, "now lets see how they dispose of the body..." you unexpectedly witness the "real" protagonist of the story entering. And while there are things happening as a normal police procedure would happen, you are introduced to "other" protagonist of the story. And before your eyes the murder mystery turns into "who will win and how" match. Both protagonist are experts, almost geniuses in their respective fields. Both capable of excellence and true ingenuity. And both on two different sides of the law.

Author does a great job of creating intrigue, even when you know who the actual killer is. And he does that with clever characterization and intelligent dialogues. He uses things like the P= NP, a problem the Clay Mathematics Institute has offered a prize to solve. "The question of whether or not it is easy to determine the accuracy of another person's results as it is to solve the problem yourself - or, failing that, how the difference in difficulty compares" And you realize that the novel is not about "who killed the guy?" but rather "how is the culprit is going to be caught?"

While I was reading the novel, I couldn't help but wonder if the Detective Galileo is a returning character. And now as I google-d the novel, it turns out that it is. Not only Suspect X is a part of a series by author featuring "Detective Galileo" but there is also a whole TV series about his exploits. I wish they start showing the series on one of our channels, I definitely will be a loyal viewer :)

The cover of the novel states that the author Keigo Higashino is reviewed as "The Japanese Stieg Larsson" by The Times. And since I haven't read anything by Mr. Larsson, I would have to say... If Mr. Larsson writes anything as interesting as Mr. Higashino... I'm bound to start reading the Millennium Series soon.

All in all, the novel presents a great read...if you adjust to the complicated names and local references. But that is not really a problem that should prevent you from reading and enjoying. Coz, "Devotion of Suspect X" is a read no reader of mystery should avoid. After all, 2 Million people can't be wrong, can they??

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at
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