Storyline Rating : 4/5 stars
Brief Summary from Goodreads :
Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.
When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.
My Point of View :
Intriguing and brilliant.
I’ve heard that translated books are not as good as the original ones, so I can’t say I was expecting anything from this book when I read it. The way the words are used are “flat”…but I have no doubt if I can understand Japanese, the original will sound a lot more…compelling. When I put the words usage and focus solely on the plot, it is actually quite a pleasant book to read.
This mystery novel is unlike any others that I have read. I must admit I don’t normally read mystery novels (romance are more of my cup of tea), but the ones that I have read normally would have the readers think or at least try to guess who’s the killer. In this novel, however, the readers already knew who the killer is….but not knowing how the crime is executed in a way that the police did not find the real killer.
The story is told from a few POVs – Yasuko (the real killer), Ishigami (accomplice), Kusanagi (detective) and Yukawa (Kusanagi’s friend that helps him from time to time). The story in a nutshell, is about Ishigami who is a mathematician, helping Yasuko covering up the murder of Togashi (Yasuko’s ex-husband). The way Ishigami came up with a way to cover up the murder is as though he is creating a challenging math equation for the police to solve. I find it interesting as I have no idea you can apply math theories into crime (math is not my fave subject). What made the story even more interesting was the ending, where the readers found out what really happen. The devotion that Ishigami have shown towards Yasuko runs so deep that he would…..well…that is for you to find out.
I came about reading this book after reading Malice, which is also written by Keigo Higashino. Malice is also as good as this book, and I’m going to read Salvation of a Saint next. I hope more of this author’s book will be translated! It’s refreshing to read mysteries written by Japanese.
Favorite Quote : None from this book.