The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino | Book Review


Hi everyone. I’m rincey and this is rincey reads.
Today I’m going to be doing a book review on the devotion of suspect X by
Keigo Higashino. So this is a mystery novel and it’s one that I’ve seen a handful of
people here on booktube talk about and read. And so it’s one that I’ve always
sort of had on my radar. And then I read this recently for the read or dead podcast,
which I always have a link down below. You can listen to that episode now. But
basically it’s almost our one-year anniversary or it’s right around our
one-year anniversary of starting the podcast and we decided to do an episode
where we basically pick up a book that we heard about because of the podcast.
And so the main reason why I wanted to pick this book up is because Katie, my
co-host, talked about it on the podcast and I was like, oh man, that sounds super
interesting. And I never picked it up as happens in our lives. So for this episode
I was going through our like backlist and I remembered about this book and I
decided to pick it up. And oh man, you guys, I loved it. So the story starts off
with you following this character named Yasuko who is a divorced single mom.
And she thinks that she’s finally gotten away from her ex-husband when all of a
sudden he shows up at the restaurant that she works at. So every time he shows
up he’s like trying to get back together with her. And in the past she has just
like given him money basically to make him go away. And this time she’s like
trying to get rid of him without like having to do that or like having any
sort of association with him. But he’s like threatening to go and find their
daughter who’s at school and like going and approaching her. He was an abusive
ex-husband and all of this stuff and so she’s been basically on the hideout for–
from him for a while. So she basically tells him to get lost.
And then later that night he shows up at their apartment. And while in the
apartment, the ex-husband ends up dead. So at this point they don’t really know
what to do. Their neighbor from next door hears something sort of happening and
comes over and realizes that there is a dead person in the apartment. And he
decides that he is going to help them get rid of the body and make sure that
everything is okay. He is someone who basically has a crush on his neighbor.
And so he constructs sort of like the perfect alibi so that when the police
discovered the body it’ll never make sense that Yasuko or her daughter were anywhere near him when the death
occurred. So that’s the basic idea behind this. And then the story sort of unfolds
from there with the police investigating the murder and trying to figure out what
exactly happened. And the really great thing about this book is that the story
also jumps forward in time from that point in the apartment. So as a reader
you don’t even know what exactly happened or what the neighbor did in
order to create this perfect alibi. It’s sort of like as the police are finding
out clues, you as a reader are finding out clues. And so this is like a really
fantastic whodunit. When I had been hearing about this book, in my head I
thought this was either like a slightly more noir book or one of like the darker
Japanese crime thrillers type of books. I didn’t realize it was a whodunit. And
when I was reading this and I realized that fact, I became completely enthralled
with this book. This book is like a puzzle for the reader to put together
and I could not put it down. I read this whole thing in one day because I was
just so intrigued by the puzzle. Like as you’re finding out these little pieces
of information about the woman and her daughter’s alibi as well as the
neighbor’s alibi, you start to like see how things have been changed and you’re
trying to figure out what exactly happened after the murder happened in
order for everything to fit so perfectly. And even just like as the reader like
you know what the event is. Like you start off with the murder and so it’s
more about what is this puzzle that the neighbor has put together. And so you’re
seeing things and clues sort of laying about. And so as a reader you know like
certain things are leading people off the wrong trail but then sometimes
things are leading back to the wife and daughter and the neighbor. But then later
you realize that that was done on purpose and it’s just so well put
together. It’s so so fantastic. And the entire time you’re sitting there not
only wondering whether or not the mother and daughter are going to get caught but
also just trying to figure out how exactly they’re going to get away with
it at the same time. Or how they’ve been able to get away with it for such a long
time. There’s just like this really fantastic reveal at the end that I
definitely did not see coming. And just even the way that everything wraps up in
the end was such a surprise as well. Like it’s been a while since I’ve been
surprised by a mystery book. Especially these days a lot of books are like the
psychological suspense books or just like these really purposefully twisty
unreliable narrator sort of books. And while those aren’t like bad by any means,
if you read enough of them you can kind of see the patterns of them. And it’s
been a while since I feel like I’ve read like a true puzzle of a book. Like I feel
like if you’re someone who enjoys like classic whodunit like Sherlock Holmes or
Agatha Christie or if you read like magpie murders last year
and you really enjoyed that, not that it’s written in the same style, but it’s
that same sort of puzzle sort of situation that personally I adore so
much. That’s like my favorite kind of mystery because that’s sort of like the
mysteries that I grew up reading. And I feel like it’s hard to find true puzzle
mystery books like that. So yeah, in the end I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars.
I loved it so much. And I found out when i shelved this on Goodreads that this is
part of a series of books. So I’m hoping to pick up some of the others maybe
later this year and seeing if they all have that same sort of whodunit formula
to it or if they change. I don’t know. If you’ve read this book or if you’ve read
any of the other books in the series, definitely let me know how it compares
to the others. But yeah, if you are someone who enjoys mysteries, like
straightforward mysteries, if you enjoy whodunits, if you enjoy a good puzzle,
definitely pick up this book. It was fantastic and, in my opinion, super
underrated still. So yeah, that’s everything that I have for you guys. Feel
free to leave a comment down below, like I said, letting me know if you’ve read
this book or not and what your thoughts were on it. Or if you read any other
books by this author, especially if there were the ones in this series. I actually
don’t know if the author has written other books that are not a part of the
series. I didn’t do that deep of a dive into him yet. So yeah, if you have answers to
any of my questions, leave them down below. Or if you have questions yourself, feel
free to leave those down below. But yeah, this was so good and I highly highly
recommend it. So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks for watching.

13 thoughts on “The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino | Book Review

  1. This was the first Japanese mystery (written by a Japanese author) that I had ever picked up and I loved it, too. I've since devoured many more. The added element of a cultural context for the mystery that's different than my own adds a whole other layer of satisfaction to a great puzzle mystery.. Journey Under the Midnight Sun is another one I think you will enjoy! Appreciate your voice on here, Rincey and love the podcast!

  2. Thank you for this review! I've been craving a good mystery that is a "true puzzle of a book" like you said.

  3. He is a really popular author in Asian! Really prolific too. The Suspect X is a part of his detective Galileo series which revolve around the cases professor Yukawa has solved. I believe it's also the most well known book in the series. The TV adaptation for this book is also worthy checking out.
    As for his other work, Malice and Journey Under the Midnight Sun are two other great standalone mystery. I would recommend Ryuusei no Kizuna too, but just discovered it has not got translated yet…….Hope it will someday!

  4. My library has exactly one book in English by this author – and a whole bunch which have been translated into German!?!?!?!? Anyhow, I've borrowed the English language one, which is called 'The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping' which sounds, um, kinda weird?

  5. I read this for a Japanese pop culture class about five years ago and didn't really enjoy it that much, but because it was so long ago, I do not remember why. I've avoided any Higashino since. Maybe I should revisit this one!

  6. Rincey, I’m so upset at the ending! What was the point?! ! I really would like to discuss the morality of the whole situation with you. But I don’t want to spoil it for the others. I’m so annoyed, ugh!

  7. I bought this book because of your review, Rincey! 😭 Coincidentally, as I was loitering next to a copy of it in the used bookstore, two other people passed by it & one of them told the other: "This book is really good btw." Solddd!

  8. I don't do well with thrillers and psychological suspense so this will be just my thing. Thanks for the awesome review, I'm sold!

  9. When I heard the synopsis, it sound familiar. Then I look for the wiki page about the novel, and realize that it has a Korean movie adaptation. That's why it's familiar, I heard about the movie before but never seen it. Now I want to read the book and see that movie!

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