Friday, May 3, 2013

Salvation of a Saint - Book review

‘Salvation of a Saint’ by Keigo Higashino is the first book that I have read by a Japanese author. Strangely it did not seem different from any Western murder mystery, in the sense that it did not have any Japanese flavour to it except for the fact that the name of the author was distinctively Japanese.

The book was originally written in Japanese and translated into English by Alexander O. Smith.
Keigo Higashino born February 4, 1958 is a Japanese author chiefly known for his mystery novels. He is the President of Mystery Writers of Japan.

In this novel, physics professor Manabu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, returns in a new case of a seemingly perfect murder, where instincts clash with facts and theory with reality.

Yoshitaka, who believes that marriage is for procreation, has just informed his wife Ayane who has not conceived even after a year of marriage, of his decision to divorce her. Apparently distraught, Ayane leaves him alone and goes to visit her parents, citing her father’s ill health.

Yoshitkaka is found dead the next day, poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee.  His wife, Ayane, who is the logical suspect is hundreds of miles away when he is murdered.

The lead detective, Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi,who is put on the case seems smitten with her innocence and refuses to believe that she could have had anything to do with the crime.  His assistant, Kaoru Utsumi, however, is convinced Ayane is guilty.  While Utsumi’s instincts tell her one thing, the facts of the case are another matter.  So she does what her boss has done for years when stymied—she calls upon Professor Manabu Yukawa aka Detective Galileo.

Detective Galileo is a real character! He is the typical arrogant scientist who believes in investigating the minutest details to arrive at any conclusion. He will not tolerate any emotive speculation and insist only on hard scientific facts.

There is another very intriguing character, Hiromi Wakayama, who is introduced right in the beginning and stays on right till the end. She is Ayane’s assistant and looks after Ayane’s quilt patchwork classes. And right from the beginning she is shown how close she is to the family and the trust that she has earned. As a matter of fact when Ayane decides to go to visit her parents, it is Hiromi that she hands over her house keys to and requests her to look after not only the classes but also her house. Divulging anything more at this stage will spoil the suspense for you.

What follows is a beautiful tapestry woven by Keigo Higashino that keeps you fascinated and enrapt in the discussions, emotive clashes of opinions and a captivating story that refuses to let you keep the book down till you reach the last page and heave a sigh of relief at finding out whodunit!

The Times has called Keigo Higashino The Japanese Stieg Larsson.

Salvation of a Saint is Keigo Higashino at his mind-bending best, pitting emotion against fact in a beautifully plotted crime novel filled with twists and reverses that will astonish and surprise even the most attentive and jaded of readers.

Book details:
Little, Brown Book Group
Publication Year
Number of Pages
384 Pages

You can order it from Flipkart for Rs.214/- against the original price of Rs.350/- at a discount of 39%.
Go for it guys! This is one book which is a must read for all crime fiction addicts!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


  1. Beautiful review! I liked the book too :)

  2. Hari OM
    You hooked my interest - I love mystery novels - but already have nearly 2 dozen stacked up in my Kindle... apart from blogging it's all shastra and smriti at the moment! But I'll be adding this to my list!!!

  3. :) I manage with reviews to be honest . Deepak bhai thanks for this awesome effort !! loved reading the review and geting a jist . The name sounded spiritual though :)

  4. Seems exciting, thanx for your crisp review! :)

  5. My first visit on this blog.
    Sounds interesting.

    1. Warm welcome Alka!!

      Great to see you here!!

      Thank you!

  6. Wonderful review. One more book to my shelf and an author to list.

  7. This is the fourth or fifth review of the book that I'm reading in blogs. This is the best of them. I've got a much better idea of the book under review. thanks.

  8. So you write reviews too ? Good review :)