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The Devotion of Suspect X
The Devotion of Suspect X (容疑者Xの献身, Yōgisha Ekkusu no Kenshin) is a 2005 novel by Keigo Higashino, the third in his Detective Galileo series and is his most acclaimed work thus far. The novel won him numerous awards, including the 134th Naoki Prize, which is a highly regarded award in Japan. The novel also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the mystery novels category in Japan. 2006 Honkaku Mystery Best 10 and Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2006, annual mystery fiction guide books published in Japan, ranked the novel as the number one.
The English translation was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Barry Award for Best First Novel.
The story begins with Tetsuya Ishigami and Yasuko Hanaoka following their daily routines. Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced single mother who works at a restaurant packing meals for its locals. Ishigami is a highly talented mathematics teacher, who lives next door to Yasuko and her daughter Misato. When Togashi (Yasuko's abusive ex-husband) shows up one day to extort money from Yasuko, threatening both her and Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence, and Togashi is killed by mother and daughter. Overhearing the commotion, Ishigami, who is secretly enamored of Yasuko but has never told her so, offers his help, disposing of the body and plotting the cover-up of the murder step-by-step.
When the body turns up and is identified, Kusanagi (the detective investigating the murder case) draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko's manufactured alibi, but still he is sure that there's something wrong with her story, a suspicion that he cannot shake. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and his college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa also went to college with Ishigami, where he learned of Ishigami's problem-solving techniques and abilities; Yukawa highly rates Ishigami's intelligence. After meeting him again after so many years, Yukawa becomes convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high-level battle of wits between Yukawa and Ishigami, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa; the teacher is Yukawa's most clever and determined opponent yet.
When Yukawa finally understands Ishigami's plans, he is awestruck by the devotion shown by Ishigami to Yasuko. Ishigami is not the person everyone sees, but only Yukawa could understand his plan to cover up the murder committed by Yasuko.
Awards and nominations