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Thoughts on Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

Title: Salvation of a Saint [CD] [MP3] [Hardcover]
Author: Keigo Higashino [website]
Narrator: David Pittu
Genre: Mystery
Date Published: October 2, 2012

Synopsis:

From the author of the internationally bestselling, award-winning The Devotion of Suspect X comes the latest novel featuring “Detective Galileo.”

In 2011, The Devotion of Suspect X was a hit with critics and readers alike.  The first major English language publication from the most popular bestselling writer in Japan, it was acclaimed as “stunning,” “brilliant,” and “ingenious.”  Now physics professor Manabu Yukawa—Detective Galileo—returns in a new case of impossible murder, where instincts clash with facts and theory with reality.

Yoshitaka, who was about to leave his marriage and his wife, is poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee and dies.  His wife, Ayane, is the logical suspect—except that she was hundreds of miles away when he was murdered. The lead detective, Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi, is immediately smitten with her 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.

But even the brilliant mind of Dr. Yukawa has trouble with this one, and he must somehow find a way to solve an impossible murder and capture a very real, very deadly murderer.

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 listeners.

My friend Jessica really enjoyed The Devotion of Suspect X (at least, I think she was the one who enjoyed it?) so I was really excited to have the chance to review another of Keigo Higashino’s books, Salvation of a Saint.

My thoughts:

If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes, you’ll really enjoy Salvation of a Saint because it’s Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century. The book revolves around how someone could commit a murder when they were hundreds of miles away. While I enjoy car chases and shoot outs, I even more enjoy stories that have a puzzle to solve, which is what you’re trying to do in Salvation of a Saint.

My favorite character was the eccentric professor (aptly nicknamed Detective Galileo) who forces the detectives to pursue only logical thinking, even when there seems to be nothing logical about the story.While I haven’t read any Sherlock Holmes in quite a while, the way Detective Galileo behaves reminds me much of the way Sherlock Holmes behaves, particularly in the way he asks questions of those who haven’t figured things out as quickly as Galileo/Holmes.

The book posed an interesting question, both how someone could commit this crime, but also why. I read some reviews on Amazon before starting the book, and a few folks talked about how they couldn’t believe that that particular person, the way they were presented in the book, would commit a crime like this. I tend to agree, but on the other hand, it’s a fairly complex story by the time you get to the end, and who of us really knows what is lurking in anyone’s thoughts?

This is my second novel in translation that I’ve listened to on audio, and I’m becoming increasingly convinced that audio is the only way to listen to translated books. I really enjoyed listening to the narrator pronounce the Japanese words (names and cities, mostly), and I think it was his correct translation that helped me quickly remember who the characters were. When I read a translated novel, I seem to take a lot longer than normal to get all the characters in my head due to the fact that their names are so foreign to me.

I really enjoyed listening to this narrator, David Pittu. He had a different voice for each character that gave me an indication who was talking before he read the part that tells you who is speaking. His voice for the three women in the book were quite breathy, though, which was distracting in the beginning. I hope, however, that I have the chance to listen to this narrator again!

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for sending me this audiobook for review.

7 comments »

7 Responses to “Thoughts on Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino”

  1. Ann @ Blogging-Profits-Unleashed

    Great crime book. I hope more of this author’s books are translated into English. Highly recommended book. :)

    [Reply]

  2. Kathleen

    Sounds interesting enough to add to my list. I’ve just recently enjoyed a few audiobooks and this sounds like one I can listen to on my long commute home. Thanks for the great review and recommendation.

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  3. zibilee ()

    I think this would be perfect for my next audio purchase, and I can’t wait to grab it! I love complex mysteries with huge puzzles to solve, and your mention that this narrator was excellent with the pronunciation and names goads me on even further towards grabbing this excellent read. Thanks for your thoughts on this one, and for your great review!

    [Reply]

  4. Lisa Richardson

    I wonder if the audio version would present differently than the actual book. I read an advance copy, and while I really enjoyed the mystery, and the writing, I believe it was the translation into English that kept throwing me off a little. There were too many words, or conversations that in English would normally contain many more contractions and more informal language. I believe that if I read the story in Japanese (not that I could), the story would flow much more smoothly. Also, I had an ARC, which may have changed before the final version. I would enjoy reading this author again though.

    [Reply]

  5. Laura Fabiani ()

    This sounds like a fascinating psychological thriller. I think you’re right about listening to translated books on audio. The right pronunciation of the foreign words makes it easier to follow along.

    [Reply]

  6. Stephanie ()

    Just when I thought I wasn’t going to add anything else to my wish list tonight … this sounds awesome!

    [Reply]

  7. Jennygirl

    I imagine the correct pronunciation really puts you into the setting of the book. I like Sherlock, so I’ll keep this one in mind.

    [Reply]

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