Monday, April 29, 2013

The Perfect Thriller

“The Japanese Stieg Larsson” – that’s what The Times had to say in regards to Keigo Higashino. As I am a big fan of Larsson’s Millenium Series, this statement was enough to serve as a catalyst and I picked up Higashino’s latest offering, and God, was I satisfied? Well, the answer is positive.

Salvation Of A Saint is a Japanese Crime Thriller penned by Keigo Higashino, the author of bestselling novel The Devotion of Suspect X. Fortunately for many readers like me who do not understand Japanese, the book has been perfectly translated into English by Alexander O. Smith and Elye J. Alexander. A big thumbs up to you two.

Let’s go straight to the basic plot. A man was found dead in his house, with his wife out of town. The Forensic team concluded that he was poisoned. As the investigation progresses, the wife appears to be the most likely suspect who could have poisoned her husband, and that is where the real problem lies. How can a wife poison her husband when she is miles away from home?

As Tokyo Police Detectives Kusanagi and Utsumi conduct their investigations, we are left wondering as to who could have performed this crime. Though we suspect the wife as well, it is difficult to imagine how she executed it. That’s when Professor Yukawa comes into the picture. He uses scientific analysis and research in finding out the method by which the man was poisoned. Together the three of them work meticulously to unravel the missing links. Were they successful? Read the book to know more.

It’s not an easy job to concoct a brilliant thriller. A lot of attention needs to be paid to the characterization, the flow, the construction of the plot and the eventual conclusion. Needless to say, Higashino scores a perfect ten on all the above parameters. Ayane and Hiromi could be any normal women we have come across at some points in our lives. They turn out to be good company, almost like a friend you always wanted to have, and when both of them come under suspicion for having committed the crime, our heart goes out to them, and we pray that they are proved innocent eventually.

What I loved most was the constant debate and sharing of opinions, sometimes creating differences in views, among Kusunagi, Utsumi and Yukawa. The minor confrontations between Kusunagi and Yukawa are fun to read, and you quickly realize you have similar friends with whom you had multiple petty quarrels and differences, and yet, that didn’t affect your friendship. The bond between Kusanagi and Yukawa paint a picture of such a friendship.

Detective Utsumi comes out as a lady who is sensible and tough. She has good intuitions and focuses on minute details. Her close observations and analysis towards things which other deem as irrelevant make her my favorite character in the book. To be honest, I would love to meet someone as bright and smart as Utsumi in real life (no, not over a crime case though).

Somewhere in the novel, Yukawa comments that the killer has committed the perfect crime, where you can’t find enough evidence against the culprit. Well, I would say that Higashino has managed to come up with a perfect thriller, where I can’t find enough flaws that could stop me from concluding this review with a five star rating.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint: ABACUS
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
My Rating: 5/5

Thank You Blog Adda for providing me with the wonderful opportunity to review this book.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


  1. wow, something my hubby and I would love to read!

  2. Interesting plot.
    Would like to read it.

  3. have been reading this for a while now..just 80 more pages to uncover the mystery :P Lovely review :D

  4. I loved Larsson’s Millenium Series as well so I need to give this a try!

  5. Ooh, I love murder mysteries...