Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino


Salvation

 

There’s nothing more scarier than the truth that hides in plain sight

First of all, what makes this this murder mystery an interesting read,
1. By the end of the 1st chapter, you will know who committed the murder.
2. By the end of the 2nd chapter, you will know what happened to the victim (as we always do).

BUT

3. It will take close to 300+ pages to find out exactly how the victim was murdered.

When one picks up a murder mystery, one might expect an extremely elaborate plan to murder, motives that can sometimes go back decades and if I’m lucky maybe even a weird weapon of choice.
With slight modification to one of the above 3 elements, I’d say, the book excels on all 3 grounds.

When I finished reading the first 2 chapters in the book and realized that there are more than 300 pages remaining, I knew I was getting into something highly complex. And boy, was I not disappointed. The novels continues on with the detectives going about their regular work, questioning anything that moved.

The murder plan was extremely simple, but complex enough to keep the reader guessing till the end. Even crazy, if not mind boggling and the motive was quite obvious from page 5, though the reason was not. Keigo is definitely well on his way (after reading this book, a long way) from becoming the next Arthur Conan Doyle, the reason for which I shall now explain.

Keigo has definitely done a great job by concentrating more on the case than on the characters themselves, especially from those in the police department. But as a reader of his previous work, The Devotion of Suspect X, i believe, he hasn’t given us a character who can be described as the Japanese Sherlock Holmes. Throughout the book, I was confused as to whether Manabu Yukawa or Shumpei Kusanagi were playing the part of the main protagonists, once thing the author should have kept in mind when he reintroduced the characters from his previous work. My above statement is highly evident from the fact that since Yukawa is the one who mainly decodes the case, he is hardly given any spotlight at all. I hope the author improves on this in his next work.

Normally, after writing an entire paragraph on what’s wrong with this book, I would give a rating in the range of 2-3 stars but the overall simplicity of the murder plot won me over, and thus I’m compelled to give this book a 4 star rating.

And under normal circumstances, I would refrain from the idea of turning this novel into a movie since they basically alter the plot line which can seriously piss the reader off. But this case deserves an exception. After watching The Devotion of Suspect X on screen and how closely it follows the plot line. I will admit that I am eagerly looking forward to the movie adaptation of this book.

For the Indian Reader

The mass market paperback version of this book is available at great discounts across many online retailers. But, I would recommend buying the book from Infibeam, for the simple fact that they don’t charge extra delivery fees for shipping anywhere in India, and that their delivery timings are on par with that of FlipKart (Seriously pissed off at them right now).

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8 thoughts on “Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

  1. A very nice review! Salvation of a Saint is one of the Higashino Galileo stories getting a drama adaptation starting this April, and they’re giving A Midsummer’s Equation, the next full-length novel in the series, the movie treatment for June. I think partly why they chose Equation is because of the point you mentioned with Kusanagi taking more of a main role in Saint than Yukawa, who is the main attraction of the 2007 drama. I think the short stories, which aren’t translated to English, do a better job of portraying Yukawa as a more Holmes-esque character. Midsummer’s Equation focuses a lot more on Yukawa and his relationship with a child who is related to the crime. What I’ve read of the Japanese book so far was pretty interesting.

    1. @Ri
      Thanks for your response. Thanks for the update on the drama adaptation dates. I had no idea there was another book in the series. Sadly there’s no English translation of A Midsummer’s Equation available. Hope it comes out soon. Would love to read those stories you mentioned. Sadly, none of the books are available in the market either.

      1. You’re welcome, I always love seeing reviews of Higashino books and discussing them with others! If I remember correctly, Midsummer’s Equation was listed as “forthcoming” in some copies of Saint so it should be in English soon! Unfortunately I don’t know if the publishers have any intention of translating the short stories. To be completely honest though, you’re not missing a whole lot – I very much prefer the Galileo full-lengths.
        The series has eight books so far, it goes: two short story collections, Suspect X, short story, Saint, Midsummer, then two short story books again. There’s pretty limited continuity through them too so you don’t even have to read all of them.
        Oh, that reminds me, a while ago, I did a rough fan translation of a story that comes in between Suspect X and Saint. If you’re interested in checking that out I can send you a copy!

      2. 8 books in the series!!! That’s news to me. Even Goodreads hasn’t recorded those books as a part of the series. As for Midsummer’s all one can do is hope.
        And as for the short story you said you translated, I would love to read that. You can post the link for it in the comments, if and when you get the chance.

      3. Yes, it’s actually quite a long-running series that has been around since 1996! I’ve seen reviews that say the last two were a bit of a letdown, though, and rumour has it that Higashino isn’t going to write any more short stories.
        Here’s the link for the .zip file! http://www.mediafire.com/?bsezg2iwbbj5qw6 I did it almost two years ago, wow. It may not be completely true to the original since I did it from a Korean translation of the Japanese. Some of the phrasing in there is just awkward, but I hope you’ll find it readable! Don’t mind the sometimes-strange footnotes, those were meant for my fellow fan friends I did it for originally. The story is a longer one in the collection, and I chose to do it because I personally found it most exciting. It’ll give you a taste of what the series is usually like when it’s not a full-length.

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