Crime Fiction (View all)
Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered.When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime...One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction.
Move over Scandinavia, come in Japan! This has got to be one of the best thrillers I have ever read. The plot in this book is absolutely remarkable... clever beyond belief! When the daughter of a pretty Tokyo divorcee is threatened by her abusive ex-husband, Yasuko Hanaoka, provoked beyond endurance, grabs the first thing that comes to hand and strangles the rotter. Meanwhile, in the next door apartment, Ishigami, a totally brilliant but lonely mathematics professor, overhears the ruckus, and because since the day he first clapped eyes upon her, he has been completely and utterly infatuated, he comes to her aid. He covers up the crime in such a manner that it will take a man who is intellectually his equal, another genius in fact, to unravel his plan. Unfortunately for Ishigami, his old university chum, physics professor Manabu Yukawa, who works more by observation than pure logic, is the great friend and sounding board of Kusanagi, the detective of the piece. Thus begins the most fascinating and elegant duel between the two, as Yukawa endeavours to solve Ishigami’s unsolvable problem. This is not a purely intellectual piece of writing though, for hearts are involved here too, and they get broken, as Yasuko struggles to overcome her guilt when she betrays Ishigami with Kudo, to whom she has always been attracted, while Ishigami himself becomes increasingly jealous, and his old friend Yukawa is stricken with grief when he begins to realize that his friend’s plan may result in the loss of his favourite rival and competitor. Unsurprisingly the book has become a bestseller in its native country and won its author Japan’s Naoki Prize for Best Novel. What will surprise is its conclusion... it is, as you can imagine, completely unguessable. This is a fabulous book that many readers, even those who do not, as a rule, read crime novels, will enjoy, and why not? It’s extremely well written, incredibly clever, it’s subtle, it’s sophisticated, and it has an ending that will just take your breath away!
I loved the different style of writing and the completely different style of construction in this fabulous Japanese crime thriller where maths meets physics head on. Both the plot and the characters are complex, which makes for a fascinating read, and the unexpected ending packs the final punch.
Brilliant books offer much more than their central plot, and on that premise, this is a winner. Inconspicuous Maths teacher Ishigami harbors a secret love for his beautiful neigbour Yasuko. When Yasuko’s craven ex-husband is murdered in her flat, Ishigami devises a master plan to rescue her and confound police. When detective Kusanagi vents his frustration at the lack of evidence to his old friend and university physics professor, Manabu Yukawa, it comes to light that Ishigami was an acquaintance, and according to Yukawa, a Maths genius. Intrigued Yukawa visits his old Uni friend, sparking an amazing duel of wits that will have you spellbound to the last page. Like Japanese script, this tale goes top to bottom and right to left with its clever twists. Not since reading Murakami have I felt such an insight into the Japanese way of life; a fantastic read.