07 May 2013

Book Review - Salvation of a Saint

Author : Keigo Higashino
Publisher : Little, Brown Book Group
Publication Year : 2013
Pages : 384
Source : Blogadda Book Review Program
Rating : 4.2/5

When a man is discovered dead by poisoning in his empty home his beautiful wife, Ayane, immediately falls under suspicion. All clues point to Ayane being the logical suspect, but how could she have committed the crime when she was hundreds of miles away? As Tokyo police detective Kusanagi tries to unpick a seemingly unrelated sequence of events he finds himself falling for Ayane. When his judgement becomes dangerously clouded his assistant must call on an old friend for help; it will take a genius to unravel the most spectacular web of deceit they have ever faced. Salvation of a Saint is a magnificently complex and page-turning thriller starring international crime fiction’s most enigmatic sleuth.This is essential reading for all fans of exceptional crime fiction.

I have never agreed more with a blurb on any of the books till I completed “Salvation of a Saint”! Before I write my opinion of it, a special thanks to Blogadda for introducing me to “Keigo Higashino” and his work. Had it not been your platform, I would have missed reading such a talent!

The story begins on a note where a husband and wife are deciding to part ways because the wife is unable to bear a child for him. Later in the wife’s absence, the husband is poisoned at his own house and the body is discovered by his paramour. This brings in the two investigators of Tokyo Police Department – Kusanagi and his newly appointed assistant Utsumi. They are at wits end searching for the evidence against the wife who is the only suspect with a motive, but was miles away when the murder took place. The problem worsens when Utsumi finds that Kusanagi’s investigation is prejudiced by his affection for the suspected widow. She turns to Yukawa, the physicist friend of the investigators who with his exceptional deductive skills help solve the secret behind this perfect crime.

I am a huge fan of mystery and crime. Probably, because I love the way such novels leash my ever fidgety mind and tempt me to deduce the mystery by means of my own basis. “Salvation of a Saint” has been a unique reading experience. And why not! Of the many crime novels that I have read, this one sets itself apart right from the start.

Call it a limitation of my exposure to better novels, but I haven't read such a murder mystery yet. Within first three chapters of the novel, you know who the culprit is. Regardless of this, “Salvation of a Saint” will engage you till the very last page.  It will keep you wondering of the method of crime. And this is the beauty of this novel. I am fascinated by the intelligent methods of the author. He has crafted the plot brilliantly. I must say, after Sherlock Holmes, it is only this novel that has made me gape at the way the plot unfolds inspite of exposing the criminal.

Keigo Higashino has kept the story simple with a minimum number of characters. This certainly helps a reader to engross well in the plot rather than keeping a track of who is involved where. However, the simplicity comes with a strong foundation and research on the theme he is writing about. There are some gaps that appear here and there, but are not so weighty as to affect a reader’s interest. You will end up curiously flipping pages with pace for the methods of crime.

One hitch that I came across is the dragging of investigation that has resulted in some additional pages to the novel. At some point, a reader will feel that the story is looping around the same point unnecessarily. It makes me curios if it is author’s trick for bulging up novel’s size. Elimination of that part and cutting down some 75 pages from the story would have done no harm to the supremacy of the author’s way of shaping the plot.

Ignoring this small glitch, “Salvation of a Saint” is an excellent read. It is delight for mystery lover. Anyone who misses reading this is sure to regret!

This review is a part of Book Reviews Program by Blogadda