I have read/watched quite a few thrillers and murder mysteries. And almost all of them revolves around ‘whodunnit’, but ‘Salvation of a Saint’ comes with a different plot searching for how and why the murder happened. When I read the excerpt of the book ‘Salvation of a Saint’, the blurb made it clear that who committed the murder. By clearly declaring the murderer (though not directly) by end of first chapter, it a quite a challenge to keep the reader glued to the book for the rest of the 370 pages.
Salvation of a Saint is mystery book by the author Keigo Higashino who is a well known mystery writer in Japan. Orginal book is in Japanese titled ‘Seijo no Kyusai‘ and translated to English by Alexander O. Smith. The story starts with the death of Yoshitaka Mashiba, and revolves around his wife Ayane, Detective Kusanagi who is smitten by Ayane even though she is the prime suspect, Detective Utsumi, the young energetic female detective and physics professor Manabu Yukawa (Detective Galileo, as he is referred by the folks at the police department). With Ayane the prime suspect having an ironclad alibi,the police are left with no other clues and staring at a blank wall.
The story unwinds with clues coming out of the closet one by one, but only to hit a road block after while. Take one step forward, then two steps back – that’s how the story revolves. The tussle between Detective Kusanagi who is falling for Ayane and his junior partner Detective Utsumi makes an interesting read with both of them trying to enforce their way of investigation – with Kusanagi not willing accept Ayane as a suspect and Utsumi in a totally opposite direction with her valid logical points. Being watching/reading mysteries and thrillers recently, I tried my part of deducing the mystery, but managed only a part of it and the main part of why and how was beyond my thinking.
The book comes out with a lot of expectations set by Higashino’s previous book ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’. Looking at the comments from readers who have read ‘Salvation of a Saint’ after reading ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’, the ‘Salvation…’ doesn’t live up to the expectations – the high level of expectations the previous book set. Though ‘Salvation of a Saint’ is an interesting book plenty of twists and turns hidden every other corner, I would suggest reading ‘Salvation…’ first and then pick up ‘Devotion…’ if you do not want to be disappointed. And along with Higashino, credit should be given to Alexander Smith as well for his wonderful work of translation. Never once I got a feeling that I was reading a translated work.
Do you like mystery? Go get a copy.