‘Salvation of a Saint’ is the second book by best-selling Japanese author Keigo Higashino to be translated into English. Many of the same characters appear in this novel as in the brilliant ‘Devotion of Suspect X’.
Yoshitaka Mashiba has a life plan – he wants to have children. And, the only purpose of a woman in his life is to help him achieve his plan. So, when he has been married for a year to Ayane without her getting pregnant, he announces that (as per their agreement) he wants a divorce. He has already started an affair with Ayane’s colleague Hiromi Wakayama, and she is now two months pregnant.
So, when Yoshitata is poisoned, his wife is the obvious suspect. But, Ayane was hundreds of miles away at the time, so she has an iron-clad alibi.
From the moment that Tokyo police Detective Kusanagi sees Ayane, he is infatuated with her. So, he is keen to solve the crime without finding Ayane guilty. On the other hand, Kusanagi’s bright young colleague Detective Utsumi is convinced that Ayane is guilty and just needs to work out how the poisoning was carried out.
Utsumi approaches Kusanagi’s old friend Professor Manabu Yukawa (Detective Galileo) who works his way through various improbable theories till he eventually works out how the poisoning was carried out. The final solution was a complete surprise.
As with ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ the atmosphere and personalities were very Japanese and very different from what I’m used to reading. Although I didn’t find this novel quite as good as the earlier one, it was still an excellent read and hard to put down. I’m looking forward to the next English translation of a Keigo Higashino novel to be released.
Book Published 2008
Book Published in English 2012