Sunday, April 28, 2013

Salvation of a Saint - Blogadda Book Review

Salvation of a Saint is a yet another thriller by the bestseller Japanese author Keigo Higashino. His choice of titles is ‘interesting’. His first novel – Devotion of Suspect X – was unimaginably one of the best thriller novels I have ever come across and hence, expectations from this book were on similar lines.

The cover page is ok. The girl isn’t pretty or anywhere close to ‘angel’-like or the likes of a ‘saint’.
The story revolves around the murder of Yoshitaka Mashiba – a wealthy businessman. While he’s dead and gone, all fingers point at his wife Ayane Mashiba, since she’s got the motive – an unfaithful husband cheating on Ayane with her apprentice Hiromi Wakayama. Not just that, she’s also pregnant. And the whole deal with Yoshitaka was to be with someone who can give him a child – and if his current girlfriend/wife can’t do so, he dumps them and moves on to the ones who can. So well, the motive’s surely strong for Ayane. But the thing is – Ayane was a 1000 miles away at her parents’ place. No conclusive leads to track, no sign of how the murder was committed. All detective Kusanagi, junior detective Utsumi and an old friend/physicist Yukawa (more like a Japanese Sherlock nicknamed Detective Galileo in the book) had was arsenic acid in the coffee that Yoshitaka was drinking and a water filter mystery – plus the fact that Kusanagi couldn’t think straight because he was falling for Ayane. But through continuous investigations and what appeared to be a dead-end case and a perfect crime, the mystery was finally solved.

While the thriller picked up pace from the beginning, it fell flat in between. The investigations, the interrogations, the cross-questionings and all that jazz was a bit far too over-stretched in between. It all just appeared to be running round and round in the loop with similar iterations every now and then. And the climax was a major disappointment. To know that the killer was the same person most of the characters in the book were doubting since the beginning, took away the ‘thrill’ of it all. There wasn’t much fun and I kept losing interest even though it’s an easy and smooth read. The only spark towards the end of the book was to find out that the scheme and the preparations to kill the victim had been plotted a year ago from the day of the actual murder.

Language is simple and gripping. There was a need for some more emotions in the book because it just felt like a bland one. This novel failed to deliver the same or more level of satisfaction that one would derive and expect after reading a Higashino novel. There weren’t any twists and turns to throw the reader off the trail of the killer and confuse them with who the exact killer is until the very end. So overall, it’s an easy read but not really up to the mark. I was really looking forward to reading this book and was excited only to be disappointed in the end.

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