Friday 17 May 2013

'Salvation of a Saint' by Keigo Hugashino - A Review

You know, when you are a regular reader of crime thrillers, at one point, you start guessing the plot. And that, my friend, is a very bad habit. It just reveals the suspense and at the end of the book, you are a little a sad to have ruined it and you have no one to blame >.< Those novels are called predictable.

And then there are some novels that just can't be predicted. They are genius.

And then there are some, predictable and yet so unpredictable! They are called super awesome.

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Hugashino is one such beauty.

So let's start off with what the back cover says.

"When a man is discovered dead by poisoning in his empty home, his beautiful wife Ayane immediately falls under suspicion. All clues point to Ayane being the logical suspect, but how could she have committed the crime when was hundreds of miles away?

When Tokyo police detective Kusanagi tries to unpick a seemingly unrelated sequence of events, he finds himself falling for Ayane. When his judgement becomes dangerously clouded, his assistant must call an old friend for help; it will take a genius to unravel the most spectacular web of deceit they have ever faced..."

The Guardian said "Intricate and beguiling...if you like riddles inside enigmas, it will please you no end"

Independent Sunday said "An extraordinary thriller. It will linger long in the memory"

Well, no hype, I must say.

So the novel begins with a seemingly innocent, typical husband and wife rant. Yoshitaka Mishaba is the husband, and his beautiful wife, Ayane Mishaba. Ayane's apprentice Hiromi Wakayama is one of the major characters too. I don't want to reveal the plot, but the husband is found dead when the wife is out of station. The cause of death is unnatural, so much as to wonder if its a suicide or a murder. This gives rise to the need to involve the detectives, Kusanagi and his young assistant Utsumi. But when Kusanagi starts falling for Ayane, he starts to try finding ways to prove his worst fears wrong, and this, doesn't go all too well with Utsumi. She approaches Kusanagi's good yet nasty-at-times professor friend Yukawa to help her out. With absolutely no clues at first glance, Yukawa has to find the strings of a crime that seems almost perfect. He  does it, and how!

The characters are built in a pretty good way. The main leads, the detectives, and Science and technology go hand in hand. There is no conflict or any error in the data. The novel deals with basic human instincts, reflexes and coping mechanism. It also shows how our assumptions can go terribly wrong, if always thought in the same point of view.

The language is rich and descriptive. It's almost like being there in the crime scene. It's easy to visualize the novel - the beauty of Ayane, the cold blooded Yoshitaka, poor Hiromi, Utsami's extra special intelligence and intuitive powers, Kusanagi's falling for Ayane and the annoyingly pompous yet respectable Yukawa.

One thing I found annoying at one point though, was the speed. Especially at the beginning phase. It really does drag through for a while and I was honestly tempted to skim through pages. The curiosity builds somewhere after completing half the book, until then it was just me speculating and patting my back facepalm-ing for ruining it for myself.

On a whole, I think it's a pretty darn good book, if you don't mind the little drag. The plot is wise and I promise, you wouldn't have thought of it or guessed it right ;)

I finished it over night and no, I wasn't bored anywhere else.

So guys, give it a shot if you want a good read - thrilling, interesting and at the end, totally mind blowing 8)

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

post signature


  1. Too many yama yaba yaka etc etc in the book I see :) lets hope i dont get lost in the jungle of confusing names. good review Mithu :) Im looking forward to reading it. P.S this means get ready to lose a book from your collection ;)

    1. Aaay :P It's Japanese, obviously names are so :) Nice book it is Krishi :) LOL I wouldn't mind ;)

  2. i love your nail art more .. wink


Leave comments, let me know you were here :)
PS: Please refrain from leaving links behind, I shall click on your user name when I want to visit your site :)