Title: Salvation of a Saint
Author: Keigo Higashino
Plot: A rich businessman is found dead in his home, seemingly poisoned by his coffee. But he was home alone, and a suicide is ruled out. So how on earth was the man killed? All the people connected with him are accounted for, and his friends and family are more than ready to cooperate with the investigation. Yet, Inspector Kusanagi can’t seem to connect the various clues that seem to go in every possible direction. The only one with a motive is the dead man’s wife, but she was hundreds of miles away when the murder took place. As Kusanagi finds himself getting attracted to the beautiful widow, his assistant and old friend must do some investigating of their own. Did she actually do the deed? But how do you poison someone from far away? Or is there another killer lurking in the shadows, yet unseen?
Review: After having thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ by Keigo Higashino, I was elated at having the chance to review his next book. Mr. Higashino comes up with yet another page turner, and tries again to create the ‘perfect crime’ as he did in his earlier book.
I have to say that it is a little difficult to review this without any spoilers J. I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun of a good thriller!
This is again, not your regular whodunit, though he does keep you guessing for a long time. The only problem is that, in order to extend the climax and keep the pace going, he sort of jams a lot of action into the last quarter of the book. By no means is the book boring at any point, but you feel a little rushed towards the end, when the pieces seem to come together.
Each and every character has been very well described, and the places can almost be seen in your mind’s eye. The writing is crisp and concise, and the language doesn’t show any of the clumsiness seen in some translated works. I especially love the dialogue delivery; you can feel the tension in the air in some of the scenes!! Further, the author hasn’t cluttered his story with too many unnecessary characters and kept the focus on the main ones involved.
The problem I have with this book is actually one that I created myself – comparing it with its predecessor. I know I shouldn’t, but I just couldn’t help myself J. It is definitely not as puzzling or nail biting as the earlier one. Again, there is some kind of reverse programming as the investigators’ main aim seems to be figuring out how the crime was committed. But the twist in this felt a little bland compared to ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’. Also, the title seems a little confusing. Who exactly is the saint here?
Verdict: This book is definitely worth buying. If you haven’t read the earlier book, you will no doubt be bowled over by Mr. Higashino’s writing. If you have read it, just forget about it, keep an open mind and you’ll be happy. All said and done, I’m a fan of Keigo Higashino!!