ONE-sided love of a man verging on devotion goes awry when the woman’s ex-husband is killed. One of Japan’s most sold novels The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino has a contemporary Tokyo setting, simple story line with excitement and suspense built in. It has sold over two million copies in Japan and inspired a cult film. Apparently the story moves slow, but the reader gets hooked to the life and travails of Yasuko, divorcee, single mother, bringing up a teenage daughter by working in a bento shop. She had already had her share of sufferings, from a violent, jobless husband, whom she divorced after much struggle. Her neighbour is Ishigami, a teacher with exceptional intelligence.
One day, Yasuko’s ex-husband turns up at her work place and demands rapprochement. Soon he turns up at her doorstep. Her daughter tries to push him out and she too gives her a hand. He is dead. Both mother and daughter want to own up the crime. But neither would allow the other as life would be impossible alone for both.
As Yasuko is about to turn herself in, Ishigami comes and tells her that he would take care of the body and destroy evidence and Yasuko or her daughter need not turn themselves in. Caught in such a situation, she allows him to take the lead. He creates alibi for them both.
But as investigation progresses, Yasuko comes to realise that Ishigami had been interested in her. But the shocker in the story comes later, much later when Yasuko discovers the extent to which Ishigami would go to protect her! The cold and determined hands of the detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police creep through the pages. Engaging, sweet and crispy, the novel is a delightful read.
(Hachette India Pvt Ltd, 612/614, (6th floor), Time Tower, MG Road, Gurgaon-122 001)