ISBN-13: 9781408704196
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: February 2013

Format: Trade paperback, 384 pgs
Source: Personal Library

Translated by: Alexander O. Smith with Elye J. Alexander

After reading Keigo Higashino's phenomenon The Devotion of Suspect X last year, I was very impressed with the author's writing style and the complexity of the plot and of course, not to mention the introduction of his two main characters, Detective Kusanagi and the physics professor Manabu Yukawa ("Detective Galileo"), whom the latter plays an important role in solving the mysteries. 

In Salvation of a Saint, the author had took on a different approach and instead of a whodunit crime thriller, he had crafted a brilliant howdunit in which he challenged the detectives as well as his readers on how the crime was committed by the clever killer.   

Yoshitaka Mashiba is a CEO of an information technology company. Aside from knowing how to run a business, he also knows he wants a child. He had told himself that if his wife, Ayane, couldn't give him a child after a year of marriage, he would divorce her and move on to other women who could give him a child. Ayane knew about this 'agreement' but she didn't expect that her husband would fulfill this agreement one day. 

Hiromi Wakayama is Ayane's apprentice quilter and both of them teach tapestry classes conducted by Ayane. Ayane suspects her husband and Hiromi have an affair but she chose to remain silent. She told her husband she would go to Sapporo to visit her parents, and Yoshitaka didn't think much of her decision to visit, after all his mind is all on Hiromi and how they would spend the weekend together. However, their happiness is cut short when Hiromi discovered that Yoshitaka is dead in his house after he didn't turn up on a date as arranged. Ayane had given Hiromi the house key and that is how Hiromi could get into their house; that is how she trusts Hiromi but does she? 

After inspection, the Tokyo police determined that Yoshitaka is poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee. Ayane immediately becomes their prime suspect, but how could she when she is hundred of miles away in Sapporo during Yoshitaka's death? Would it be Hiromi then? After all, she seems to be the last person to be with Yoshitaka but how could it be when she is in love with Yoshitaka, and to top if off she is pregnant with his child.

Detective Kusanagi tries very hard to solve the puzzling pieces, but he also finds himself being smitten by Ayane and he refuses to think that Ayane is connected with the crime. With his superior's judgement slightly clouded, Kaoru Utsumi, the junior detective is convinced that Ayane is the murderer and she will try every means to unravel this mystery, including calling upon Professor Manabu Yukawa, the brilliant physicist who would analyst every point and angle through his scientific mind. But Professor Yukawa is stumped with this case too, and he vows to unravel this mystery no matter how absurd or impossible the deed of the murder deems to be.  

Once again, I found myself sucked into Keigo Higashino's novel and I have to say Salvation of a Saint is one stunning and a brilliant crime thriller. During my reading journey, I not only got intrigued by the case but I questioned myself too on the crime and how it happened. In the story, the author has somewhat made his readers believe that Ayane is the suspect, but how to solve this mystery when she is absent during the crime and that she has an alibi to boot? Salvation of a Saint is more of a howdunit than a whodunit thriller, and I am glad to say Keigo Higashino has once again impressed me with this compelling and not to mention a beautifully plotted crime story. Professor Yukawa in this story said that the murderer has committed a perfect crime, this I agree with him; and I have to add in that this is a perfect read for fans of crime fiction, especially for those who like reading procedurals along the story.  
2 Responses
  1. The Bookworm Says:

    It sounds like you are enjoying this author. I like a well crafted thriller too. Nice review!

  2. Carol Says:

    I have this on audio and started listening to it, but the names got a little confusing. I'll have to try again soon.

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