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The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Keigo Higashino , David Pittu , Alexander O. Smith
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2011 Detective Galileo Series (Book 1)
Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

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Praise for the audio edition of The Devotion of Suspect X:

“Told with cool simplicity…Higashino’s ‘just the facts, ma’am’ style belies his brilliant evocation of Ishigami as he enters into a cat-and-mouse battle of wits with a former acquaintance, a super-smart physics professor who is the only man able to fathom the depths of the mathematician’s devotion. David Pittu is an amazingly skillful narrator, brushing the dialogue with an almost imperceptible hint of an accent, subtly building suspense as the inevitable end looms.” – BookPage, Top Pick of the Month

"David Pittu’s narration adds a humanity and passion to the proceedings, especially evident in the scenes in which Ishigami goes head to head with wily Dr. Yukawa. The former’s calm manner of speaking seems to be concealing a feverishly working mind, while the doctor is evidently enjoying himself immensely. Pittu transforms those and other moments from mere wordplay into a thrilling game of cat and mouse in the Alfred Hitchcock tradition.” -- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“David Pittu narrates with a considered and almost-conversational style, allowing the main focus of the story, the investigation of the murder and the interaction between the protagonists, to gently unfold…a high-quality listen.” -- AudioFile

“What might be classified as a procedural develops considerable psychological depth, aided by Tony Award-winning actor David Pittu’s subtle, sensitive reading, through which he artfully manages to accentuate the characters’ conflicted emotions. Recommended for crime novel enthusiasts and those interested in Japanese culture.” – Library Journal, starred review

“This is a stylized genre novel which is distinctive for its Japanese setting, a glimpse into Japanese culture, and the two highly intellectual protagonists reflecting on the nature of problem-solving. It’s a good story, and the performance of the unabridged audiobook by David Pittu is nicely done” – Metapsychology Online Reviews

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“Higashino won Japan’s Naoki Prize for Best Novel with this stunning thriller about miscarried human devotion, a bestseller in Japan. The author successfully combines unquestionable reasoning with unquenchable pain. In this brutally laconic translation, cold logic battles warm hearts throughout this elegant proof of the wages of sin, in which everyone suffers and no one can ever win.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Winner of Japan’s prestigious Naoki Prize and a bestseller there with more than two million copies sold, this literary psychological thriller is a subtle and shifting murder mystery. It will make readers redefine devotion and trust in an otherwise complete stranger.” --Library Journal (starred review)
“Veteran police detective matches wits with a brilliant rookie criminal. This character-driven mystery by the prolific Higashino has much to recommend, including a droll Columbo-like sleuth and a great surprise ending.” --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"In The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino weaves a web of intellectual gamesmanship in which the truth is a weapon that leads both police and readers astray.  The ingenius conclusion is so unexpected that it's difficult to imagine anyone seeing it coming. Smart, smart characters." --Jaqueline Winspear
"How could we have ever imagined, without the help of a novel like this, that Japanese life could be so fraught with suffering and so entertaining all at once?” --Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News on HIMITSU (The Secret), published as NAOKO in the U.S.
“Higashino is a deft conjurer of human relationships, and while this is first and foremost a tale of grief— —he infuses it with spasms of sharp humor.” --East Bay Express on Himitsu (The Secret)

The Devotion of Suspect X has all the brilliant intricacy of the best Golden Age mysteries - puzzle within puzzle, twist after twist - with a modern sensibility.  It is a wonderful, fresh take on the classic mystery's intellectual struggle between protagonist and antagonist, adds to it all the right amounts of tension and pacing, places it in a fascinating setting, and gives of all of this plenty of heart." --Jan Burke, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author of Kidnapped and Bones

"Japanese crime writers excel at many things: one is the slow tightening of the noose that's at the fast-pounding heart of the police procedural.  The Devotion of Suspect X  is a terrific book in that tradition and it's about time American readers got a crack at it." --SJ Rozan, Edgar Award winning author of Winter and Night and On the Line

“The Devotion of Suspect X is elegant and spare and gripping and vivid. Most of all, however, it is deeply moving, and this is what sets it apart!” --Jesse Kellerman, bestselling author of Trouble and The Executor

"Irresistible! A mind-twisting story that will have readers plunging in to try to solve the crime before the math genius, the physics professor, or the cop get there first." --Nancy Pickard, New York Times bestselling author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning and The Virgin of Small Plains


About the Author

Born in Osaka and currently living in Tokyo, KEIGO HIGASHINO is one of the most widely known and bestselling novelists in Japan. He is the winner of the Edogawa Rampo Prize (for best mystery), the Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc. Prize (for best mystery) among others. His novels are translated widely throughout Asia.

ALEXANDER O. SMITH has translated a broad variety of novels, manga, and video games, for which he has been nominated for the Eisner Award, and won the ALA’s Batchelder Award (for his translation of Miyuki Miyabe’s Brave Story), and been recognized for his localizations of the video games Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII. He lives with his family in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intelligent and Compelling Read Oct. 18 2012
Much of what I read in what could broadly be described as crime and detection type novels is instantly forgettable. That is not to say that such a book is not enjoyable to read, but there is really nothing about it which sticks in the mind once you have finished it. However, The Devotion of Suspect X is a clever, well thought out novel and it has something about it which places it well above this level.

Broadly the story concerns a murder and subsequent cover up, and there is absolutely no mystery as to who the perpetrator is. However, one of the parties involved is a very clever man, Ishigami, arguably at a genius level of intellect. He treats the concealment of the crime as a puzzle in logic, and applies his intellect in creating a situation which will mislead the police and which they will find impossible to crack. Also involved on the police side is a former friend and colleague of Ishigami, also highly intelligent, who proves to be a formidable adversary.

I liked the style of this tale. There is none of the waffle and unnecessary verbiage which authors often feel obliged to pad out their offerings with, and everything in this book is absolutely relevant to the story which is being related. There are many quite small incidents and observations which prove to have immense importance later. Further interest is provided by the Japanese setting, and the quite different approach of the police to the way we would expect them to work in the Western World. However, unlike some other translated novels I have read, we do not get bogged down in the local bureaucracy and procedure to the detriment of the story.

After the first 20 pages or so I was certainly hooked and the outcome is not clear until right at the end so that the reader's interest is maintained throughout. This is a unique and intelligent read and most will find it compelling and very entertaining. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By L. J. Roberts TOP 100 REVIEWER
First Sentence: At 7:35 A.M. Ishigami left his apartment as he did every weekday morning.

A woman separated from her brutal husband. A neighbor devoted to helping her. A policeman tasked with trying to solve a murder. A physicist asked to help his friend the policeman, and who knows the neighbor. These four elements combine into a game of cat and mouse.

My first thought was how much I wish they had included a map. My second thought was a wish for a cast of characters as I am not as familiar with Japanese names as some other cultures and, in the beginning, found it a bit difficult keeping track of who was whom. Both those thoughts quickly faded.

The story sets off with a very good beginning wherein we learn first of the characters, and then of the emotions and motives that drives them. All the characters, on both sides of the crime, draw you in. It’s fascinating as there is no real “bad” guy to the story.

That said, this is a story very much driven by the plot. And what a plot it is! There are surprises, twists and turns, and an intriguing game of cat-and-mouse. It is an intelligent plot, which even includes math and science. It is not all cerebral, as there is also some very good suspense. Most of all, there is an ending which is understandable yet emotionally raw and impactful.

“The Devotion of Suspect X” was a complete and wonderful surprise. It is a brilliantly structured story. It’s easy to see why Higashino is the most popular, best-selling mystery author in Japan. Hopefully, American readers will soon add him to their “must-read” lists as well.

THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X (Pol Proc-Det. Kusanagi/Dr. Yukawa-Japan-Contemp) - Ex
Higashino, Keigo – Standalone
Minotaur Books, 2005 (translated edition 2011)
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Devotion of Suspect X Jan. 6 2012
By Pithy
A police procedural with compelling mathematician vs physicist, interesting and well done. Surprising ending however completely unlikely. Memorable characters and setting enjoyable. Was missed when finished.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Logic vs. Gut July 16 2011
By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER
Cleverly pitting the logic of a mathematician against that of a physicist, and then the physicist vs. an intuition-leaning detective, this Japanese novelist has written a clever murder mystery with an innovative ending.

There is no mystery as to the murderer: A single mother, aided by her daughter, strangles her abusive ex-husband. What then follows provides us with a chess match between her next door neighbor, a mathematician, who undertakes to create a scenario to provide the two women with iron-clad alibis, and a detective and his logic-leaning physicist friend, who analyzes each possible clue. It is an interesting technique, and one that works well.

This is the author's first major English publication (he is a big seller in Japan, where more than 2 million copies of the book have been sold), and the translation seems to have been made with the formality of the original language in mind. 'Devotion' won the Naoki Prize for Best Novel, the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award. Deservedly. And it is, here, heartily recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Tension of Not Knowing for Sure June 21 2011
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
This is the second modern Japanese detective novel I have read in the last couple of years, and on both counts I have been wonderfully entertained by authors who know how to exploit the cat-and-mouse scenarios to the fullest. In this particular story, Higashino takes the reader into the thick of a murder investigation involving the brutal slaying of Yasuko's ex-husband, Togashi. While the reader is quickly made aware of who is behind the slaying and its motive, the big challenge as to whether the police - represented by the determined Detective Kusanagi and the cerebral Dr. Yukawa - will be able to make an arrest. Plaguing their investigation is the lack of certainty as to how the evidence comes together in a consistent pattern. While hunches are fine, mathematical precision is what the good doctor's great Buddhist mind seeks. The plot thickens as new leads are followed and then discarded, only to be followed by more perplexing evidence. There is everything Dostoevskian about this novel because the reader is allowed full access to the respective mindsets of hunter and quarry as they cross paths at various points in the story. To complicate matters further, the reader, if I am anything to go by, has a dilemma to contend with: moral sentiment is clearly on the side of the main suspect, a battered woman, and her devoted partner and protector in crime, which makes the wily investigators appear somewhat callous in their failure to understand the real personal emotions at stake in this whole sorry affair. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers that are skillfully written, resonate with a strong sense of inner conflict, and contain a psychological uncertainty as to who is ultimately right: the law or the criminal. Lots of well-timed surprises packed into this plot.
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