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Publisher's Summary

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step. When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

©2005 Keigo Higashino (P)2010 Macmillan Audio. A Macmillan Audiobook from Minotaur Books

Featured Article: 10 Famous Japanese Authors You Have to Hear


Thanks to the work of translators and publishers, Japanese literature is now more accessible than ever to English-speaking audiences. If you've ever wanted to learn more about Japanese culture and literature, you cannot go wrong with listening to audiobooks from Japan. We've compiled a list of the most famous Japanese authors who have helped define Japanese literature, and their notable works across genres and time periods.

What listeners say about The Devotion of Suspect X

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

not really like Larsson -- but that's OK

This seemed to me more akin to PD James ---more a psychological why-dunnit and how-dunnit than a who-dunnit, more about the character and plot than action, but (at least in translation) the novel does not have James' tight prose. It's about the personal more than the political, even if the central event does highlight domestic abuse. Glimpses of Japanese society add interest. Happily it's not another cookie cutter ???edge of seat??? violent thriller. Neither is the psychology too dark. I found the narration good but not outstanding.

It's an original mystery for fans of global gumshoes (and this time the shoe is on the other foot). Well worth a listen.

87 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Devoted tale of kindness and unknown friendship.

There is an old saying about a friend will help you move, but a real friend will help you move a body. This is an above average story exploring the latter. A lonely math nerd comes to the aid of a single mother and her teenage daughter. The story pulls you along, forcing you to compete with the characters as they practice their deception or those seeking the truth. I spent the first few chapters (if not half the story) trying to decide which character was my hero only to conclude each had their own integrity, values and redeeming qualities. This is not your typical crime mystery - it's so much more. I greatly enjoyed it and hope you do too.

45 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

P vs. NP (In the library with a candlestick)

In a Tokyo apartment, a man lies dead at the hands of his ex-wife and step daughter. Their neighbor, an introverted mathematician and virtual stranger, offers to help hide their involvement in the death. He then orchestrates an intricate cover-up to safeguard the child and her mother.

As the Tokyo police begin a murder investigation, a brilliant physicist - who has consulted for the police in previous cases – is brought into the mix. When the physicist learns that the neighbor of the suspect is, in fact, his old college friend, his interest is piqued. He begins to investigate independently.

And so we reach the central players of our chess game; two brilliant old friends, the mathematician, and the physicist. One believes he has created the perfect puzzle – the other is determined to solve it. Pitted against each other in this classic game of cat and mouse, both men struggle to fulfill their perceived “duties”, despite the feelings of friendship and respect they both feel for the other.

The Devotion of Suspect X is a rare jewel of the mystery genre; one often sought, but rarely found. It’s a mystery crafted out of many character’s points of view, and even more layers of reality. If you want answers, you’ll have to wait until the end; because like all great mysteries, the truth waits until the final unveiling.

For this particular selection, I have to thank fellow reader Howard (a great member to follow for fantastic reviews) for bringing this novel to my attention.

40 people found this helpful

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Can the Human Heart Be Pragmatic?

If Rene Descartes wrote a modern-day murder mystery it would probably read something like this. But, while Descartes had a lifetime to prove his mathematic and philosophical theories, time is ticking down for brilliant mathematician Suspect X...and there are some variables he cannot guarantee.

For me, this one fell into the category of *Pleasant Surprises*. It languished in my library while I read and listened to books that were supposed to be blockbusters. In hindsight, it would have been a better use of time than listening to that big "first novel for adults" from a famous author. Devotion of Suspect X is a well-written, original concept that defies even the best of the armchair gumshoes' abilities; it demands your interest, then keeps your mind spinning for days after you've finished. Not only does it leave you trying to re-trace some of the events, look for what you missed, it also leaves you pondering the capacity of human nature and determination--*quantifying and qualifying*.
"Sometimes a person just needs to exist to be someone's personal savior."

The narrator read each character in the same manner; being unfamiliar with Japanese names (or ignorance of), I was pulled a little out of the story at times determining which character was speaking until I got with the flow. Nothing I would fault the author or narrator with--just a note to pay attention closely if you have a tendancy to listen only halfway (sometimes) while you multi-task. This is one of those stories that picks up speed, then really picks up speed. If it were a movie, it would build to an unsuspected climax -- and the screen would abruptly go black. Powerful and surprising.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I was transported!

A friend recently told me she considers a movie "award worthy" when it transport her from one place to another, not only in revealing life in a different location, but also "transporting" her to a different view point. This book did both! It is set in modern day Japan, which was a revealation! Call me naive, but I didn't imagine Japan had a homeless problem... Don't stop reading! This book is not a commentary on homelessnes, or any kind of social issue. It is a great murder mystery, but you know who the murderer is from the very beginning. Twists and turns that caught me by surprise. The only thing I didn't like was the ending, but the fact that I didn't like the ending is probably a commentary on my morals...

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The best book I have ever had read to me!

I have been an Audible.com member for a couple of months and have about 10 books under my belt. Including the trilogy by Larsson, some Vince Flynn, James Patterson, and few other motivational titles. This one was by far my favorite and kept me entertained thoroughly.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Haunting

I must be naive about American culture or uneducated about Japanese; I can't help but think an American woman in this situation would be able to go to the police.

As for Larson similarity, if Japanese culture has nothing to protect women that kill to save their daughter or who have had a history of abuse then the underlying assumption is the type culture Larson despised.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful mystery, wonderfully told

It's disappointing to find so many current mysteries end up not being mysterious at all but rather some deranged serial/psycho killer. This brilliant little piece is original and thoughtful. The dialogue is pitch perfect, the characters, believable. More like this please!

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

Any additional comments?

Intellectually and emotionally, the story works at the highest levels. I felt stunned and moved by the final scene. I hope to see more from this author on audible. Preferably with the same reader.

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Clever psychological thriller where two master logicians try to outwit each other. Brilliantly written so as to make every character somehow believable -- and brilliantly read. The reader makes you feel that you are in the room, making the hair on the back of your neck stand at the right moments.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-09-19

Omg what an amazing book

Loved it. listened to it as quickly as possible. the story was so intense. I did not expect the ending or the twists. An absolutely must listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • richard
  • 10-04-13

Ultimately disappointed

What did you like best about The Devotion of Suspect X? What did you like least?

This was an excellent story which I thoroughly enjoyed up until the point of the confession. It could have ended so much better than it did and I wish the author would rewrite the ending.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Phil Grace
  • 09-27-22

Interesting battle of wits.

I liked the way this book is intelligent and different to the standard crime books set in Scotland. The Japanese cultural aspects added interest and the 3 main characters interact well. It's hard to know whose side you are supposed to be on. I also felt the writer is realistic in the way he covers details.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stella
  • 11-19-21

Misogynistic

I really didn't enjoy this. I found it preposterous. The plot boils down to a battle of wits between two incredibly brilliant geniuses: one of whom works by telling a submissive woman exactly what she must do. Hey ho.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • simplecreature
  • 02-17-21

Full of surprises and emotions

Interesting how a crime novel reveals the killer at the start but can still have such a surprising conclusion. I’m impressed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mustafa.Kapasi
  • 11-26-20

extremely engrossing story till the end.

loved the book. finished it in record time. cannot put it down. would highly recommend

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jayne D
  • 07-30-20

Good read !

Quite a gripping story, kept my interest going to the end !! Will look for others by the author .

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AHRIMANSU
  • 04-02-22

4 and half starts

smooth yet engaging novel, that won't bore you down..and with certaint novelty with the ending twist..

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca Rashleigh
  • 06-11-19

Slow but worth it for the end!

I struggled a little with this book for I found the story a little slow and at times boring mainly because I found it hard to comprehend the way the detectives were conducting the case until I learnt a little more about the Japanese legal system (I strongly advise doing a little research), once I learnt a bit about it I was then able to appreciate the story more. I enjoyed most of the Narrator's voices for each character except of that of his female characters (to me they sounded a little weak and pathetic which made me a little frustrated) but overall really great. If you like crime stories you might find this slow for the most part but stick to it till the end for the twist is one you will not see coming! I would give it 3.5 stars. It was entertaining but no Gone Girl.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David W McLeod
  • 11-08-18

gripping and suspenseful Tokyo thriller

This clevely crafted story starts with a murder, and then details how it didnt happen.
The three central characters play out a chess game with 3 players, each trying to stay one step ahead.
Wonderful dialogue, and detailed description of the human emotions at play in this murder mystery, make it a story you will want to rush through, but hoping it doesn't end.

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