Book review : Salvation of a Saint

"Salvation of a saint" by Keigo Higashino (Translated by Alexander. O.Smith With Elye.J . Alexander) is a crime thriller fiction.

In 2011, “The Devotion of Suspect X”  by the same author was acclaimed as “stunning,” “brilliant,” and “ingenious.” Character  Manabu Yukawa–Detective Galileo–returns in this novel too.

The storyline of the novel goes like this~
Yoshitaka, a rich person and CEO of a company dies while his wife is away. The arsenic in his coffee seems to be the reason for his death. Ayane, his wife and Hiromi, his secret lover are the suspects. The lead detective, Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi, seems to fall into the charm of Ayane. Utsumi, Kusanagi's assistant is sure that Ayane is the culprit although there is no concrete evidence. Physics professor Manabu Yukawa also joins the investigation team.

While Kusanagi  investigates in his own style, Utsumi relies on her intuition. Professor Manabu Yuakama swings from one side to another and never loses track. All finer aspects around the poison in the coffee cup is analysed thoroughly by the detectives.

The kettle in which the coffee was made, the mineral water bottles in the refrigerator and the water filter angle are all analysed thoroughly by the detectives. Readers with a scientific bent of mind would definitely find the unveiling of the mystery interesting.

Ex-lovers, the wife and the pregnant girl friend of Yoshitaka are all interrogated thoroughly too.

How the mystery unfolds forms the rest of the story.

The author specifically needs to be lauded for perfect characterization. Yoshitaka's " business like" character of treating women like a " Baby machine", Ayanes'  " Charming and emotionally composed" nature , Utsumi's intuitive nature are all well elaborated by  the author.

The story line is wafer thin and keeps the readers interest glued for some time. The plot is unraveled nicely. But as the novel moves forward, the question in the readers mind is not , " Who is the culprit?", but it is about " How did the person commit the crime?".

The "flower plant watering" tin is an obvious clue that is thrown open by the author at the early stage of the novel. Regular readers of crime fiction or people with good guesses can never miss such obvious clues about the murder. More details disclosed in this review would essentially kill the "only" surprise element in the novel.

Even in the end, when the plot is disclosed, most of the readers may be left unconvinced.

Since the plot is wafer thin, many impatient readers may jump the gun to last pages of the novel.

Japanese names also create a different feeling to the reader. If you are not used to such names, the reader may take some time to get used to character names like Hiromi Wakayama, Toshitaka Mashiba, Ayane Mashiba, Tatsuhiko, Manaby Yukawa , Kusanagi and so forth.

The book is overall a good read. This book would keep you glued , if you are  a person who is " keen to know the details".

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