The Devotion of Suspect X

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

Walking through Eslite in Taiwan, I saw several books by 東野 圭吾 on the bestsellers shelf. I looked him up, and it turned out to be Keigo Higashino, the author of one of my favorite books in the last few years: Under the Midnight Sun. I’m not sure why he had three or four books in the Eslite top 10. Maybe a bunch of his books just got translated. Anyway, it inspired me to read more of his stuff.

1) “Before her current job, Yasuko had worked in a nightclub in Kinshicho.”

TBT to staying at the Moxy Kinshicho and watching people go in and out of the club across the street.

2) “‘It’s not real mathematics if you have to use a computer to verify it.'” – Ishigami

Probability questions are too hard. It’s easier to write a simulation.

3) “Sometimes, you could follow a mistaken route to a false treasure, and proving that it was false could be even harder than finding the real answer.”

The growing interplay between mathematics and the murder case throughout the book was enjoyable to read.

4) “‘I’m sure they do. But that isn’t true for the support team for those racers. They run detailed simulations over and over to find the best places to accelerate – that’s how they work out a strategy.'” – Ishigami

NASCAR has never made sense to me. What is the strategy? Why are some racers better than others? I’m sure some people think the same of tennis.

5) “A feeling rose inside him, making him queasy, as though an elaborate formula he’d thought was perfect was now giving false results because of an unpredictable variable.”

TFW your queries have been running fine for a week and suddenly the results don’t make sense.

6) “‘Once you get used to luxury, it’s hard to lower your sights. The Ginza crowd wouldn’t be caught dead in a place this seedy, hards time or no.'” – Kusanagi

Once you go biz, you can’t go back (to economy).

7) “‘Murder isn’t the most logical way to escape a difficult situation. It only leads to a different difficult situation.'” – Yukawa

Are murders logical?

8) “‘I want you to turn your papers over and write down what you’re thinking right now on the backs.'” – Ishigami

Unfortunately, this did not happen during my 8.01 final.

9) “He’d had plenty of time to consider the homeless who lived there and their lives. Why were they living at all? Were they just killing time, waiting there for the day when they would eventually die?”

The way that the homeless served as a cog in the murder was a bit cringe.

10) “‘Take this, but don’t let it be a burden. This is just a present. If you should decide you would like to live with me, then the ring will mean what it is intended to mean.'” – Kudo

The ultimate application of nudging.

Before reading the book, the title had seemed weird, but this story really is about the devotion of the suspect. Although the initial murder was no mystery, the plot twist at the end was a pleasant surprise. Keigo Higashino is fast becoming my favorite Japanese author.

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