Not so saintly

Salvation of a saint is another in Keigo Higashino's stylish Japanese-noir series "Inspector Galileo" following on from the earlier reviewed The devotion of Suspect X. I loved Suspect X, but feel rather ambivalent about Salvation of a saint. The more recent novel brings together favourite characters from the earlier book including Detective Kusanagi, and his former university friend, and all round genius, physics professor Yukawa.

There are quite a few similarities between the two novels. In both cases there's a prime female suspect, who appears to have an unbreakable alibi, and a seemingly impossible murder. In this case there's the added complication that Kusanagi appears to have become romantically attached to the chief suspect. There's a likeable female detective, Utsumi; and a nice vein of black humour. Saint however failed to move me in quite the same way.

For a start there's the murder itself - very clever. In fact too clever, I just found myself completely unable to believe in it; and once my belief in the likelihood of the murder broke down, I found myself unable to believe in or to empathise with, any of the characters. It's a nice idea, and cleverly written, but I think Higashino asks his audience to suspend their disbelief a step too far.

Interesting, good to read, but ultimately unconvincing.


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