11 May / The Devotion of Suspect X [Detective Galileo 1] by Keigo Higashino, translated by Alexander O. Smith with Elye J. Alexander
I had quite the challenging training day on Tuesday – five hours of driving to the mountains and back, with 5.5 hours running up and down two summits in the rain, rain, rain – but the miles couldn’t have gone faster thanks to Suspect X stuck in my ears (read with great control by David Pittu, except for just a few minutes when he slips into that unnecessary Jack Nicholson-growl which further marred the already disappointing The Marriage Plot).
The first thing I said to the hubby upon return was, “You’ve got to read this one … and you’ll never, ever guess the ending,” to which he replied, “Don’t tell me anything more!”
So if you, too, don’t want to hear another detail, stop here. If you need a convincing shove, read on …
The sliding glass door to the lunch shop where single mother Yasuko works, opens to reveal a visitor she hoped never to see again – her abusive ex-husband. He’s managed to track her down after five years, arriving with promises that quickly turn to threats: if Yasuko doesn’t cooperate, he’ll have to seek out her teenage daughter Misato instead.
By chapter two, the skeezy ex is lying dead in Yasuko’s apartment … and while mother and daughter desperately try to figure out what to do, their next-door neighbor Ishigami – who is a near-stranger in spite of their proximity – appears with an offer to help …
Let me repeat: you will never guess the ending!
Having won the Naoki Prize in 2005 – one of Japan’s top literary awards – Suspect X was already long a bestseller before arriving Stateside last year. Obviously, nothing was lost in translation as the English version was named a finalist in January for the 2012 Edgar (mystery’s Oscar!) for Best Novel (Mo Hayder won for Gone). Mystery lovers might already be familiar with Higashino’s Naoko which made its translated debut in 2004. As eerie as that was, Suspect X is an even better shocker. Promises, promises, for sure!
Published: 2011 (United States)