Sunday, May 05, 2013

Book Review: Salvation Of A Saint by Keigo Higashino: Pansies Murder Mystery Purpose Guts And Innocence

The Times has compared Keigo Higashino's writing style with Stieg Larsson, the Swedish journalist and writer famous for his Millennium Series of Crime Novels, thereby declaring Keigo Higashino as 'The Japanese Stieg Larsson'. Financial Times has stated the work of Keigo Higashino to be excellent enough to impress Agatha Christie. Almost all international newspapers and book critic magazines are full of praises for Japanese author Keigo Higashino writer of two excellent books in a row - The Devotion Of Suspect X and the one under review here Salvation Of A Saint.

Salvation Of A Saint is a magnificent and powerful murder mystery thriller written so beautifully so as to engage reader's curiosity at peak right since beginning and forces to chase its puzzles and results page after page. Characters' profile is strong enough to draw relevant emotions out of its reader's towards them and the story is going to stay in your memories for long. The story tells how sometimes a small intentionally taken wrong move by one person spoils so many people's life including his/ her own. This is what happens with a wrong move taken by a very successful industrialist Yoshitaka drives to his own murder. Yoshitaka Mashiba has been characterized as a smart and handsome businessman with success in his hands but who is far away from emotions and attachment in his personal life.

Story begins with a murder, when Yoshitaka is found dead in his own house one day. State Investigation agency gets involved as the solution of this complicated and well planned perfect murder is found out of limits of police. The death happens due to poison in coffee of Yoshitaka but indicates no proof against suspect, Ayane, who is Yoshitaka's beautiful wife. It takes ages for investigation department to crack this well planned, zero defect, perfect murder executed by Ayane to kill the victim, her husband Yoshitaka. 

Basically the story involves three ladies in the life of Yoshitaka. Gradually a strong reason evolves that forces Ayane to plan for Yoshitaka's murder. Yoshitaka is a very calculative, sharp minded, irrational, professional with no emotions for the people in his life. Three years back he met a 34 years lady Junko Tsukui who was a simple, beautiful and lovely lady. They both started dating and almost after a year they had plans to marry with each other. But Yoshitaka had some other plans in his mind. He was was clear that a woman for him is nothing but a child factory. His only motive of getting a woman in his life was to get a child from her. When Junko could not bear a child for Yoshitaka, he started ignoring her and fell in for a new and younger lady who was named Ayane.

Ayane and Junko were very close friends. Junko otherwise was a loner and had not any other friends in her life. Junko was a children books writer. Ayane without knowing that Junko and Yoshitaka were dating, started dating Yoshitaka when he proposed her. Junko learning this killed herself. Ayane learning the reality after Junko's death decides to marry Yoshitaka and give him a lesson of his life if he doesn't improve in terms of respecting and loving a woman and playing with them with words.

A yearlong murder plan is made by Ayane single handedly with such a perfection that the whole team of investigating agency was not able to crack it unless they brought in Professor 'Galileo', a renowned physicist for his deep knowledge and scientific logics.

Finally, in brief a must read for all suspense/ mystery readers. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5 based on its plot, characterizations, story and sequence. And before I forget, credit for all this also goes to Alexander O. Smith who along with Elye J. Alexander has done a marvellous job in translating so well so as to keep the same momentum for its readers.

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