Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Review: The Salvation of a Saint

Is it possible to kill someone from hundreds of miles away?

This is the fundamental question that Detective Galileo (Yukawa, who is actually a professor of Physics) has to answer.

Intriguing? Definitely. 

This installment of the Detective Galileo series from Keigo Higashino may not match the masterpiece ("The Devotion of Suspect X"), but it is also very good nonetheless.

The plot is simple. 
Yoshitaka was on the verge of divorcing his wife. He is poisoned by coffee spiked with arsenic and dies. The most logical suspect is naturally his wife, Ayane. However, there is a glitch. Ayane was hundreds of miles away when he was murdered. 

Yoshitaka was not a saint. He had other women in his life at various times, and had treated them badly. That includes Yoshitaka's mistress. But none of those suspects is as strong on motive as Ayane. But her (lack of) opportunity to commit the act at the fatal hour is a major obstacle for the investigators.

To add to this, the lead detective (Kusanagi) unfortunately falls for the prime suspect . He just refuses to believe that she could have had anything to do with the crime. 

However, his assistant, a lady by the name of Kaoru Utsumi, thinks exactly the opposite. Her woman's intuition tell her to go after Ayane, even if the facts don't support her theory.So she does what her boss has done for years when stymied—she calls upon Professor Manabu Yukawa.

Yukawa and Kusanagi had damaged their relationship during the previous case ("Devotion ..."), and are not on speaking terms. But Utsumi's interference forces them to work together again. And being thorough professionals, they do that quite well.

Higashino follows his tried-and-tested method of hiding everything in plain sight. When the end is revealed, you might end up kicking yourself for not guessing the plot.