Salvation of a Saint – Whodunit and Why – A Gripping Thriller!
Here comes a thriller with a mind blowing theme originally written by Keigo Higashino and wonderfully translated by Alexander O.Smith with Elye J. Alexander. ‘Salvation of a Saint’ is a suspenseful murder mystery with an intricately woven story involving crime and intelligent investigation. One just cannot keep the book down once he/she starts reading it.
The story is about unraveling the crime of death of Mr. Yoshitaka Mashiba by Kusinaga the famous Tokyo Police Detective with the help of his able assistants Kaoru Utsumi and Kishitani. Yoshitaka Mashiba is poisoned to death using arsenous acid .The first informant is Hiromi Wakayama the student of Ayana Mashiba , the beautiful wife of Yoshitaka . Ayana is away at her parents’ place at the time of murder but all clues lead to her being the prime suspect.
Yoshitaka Mashiba is rich and wealthy and wants to marry and have kids and marries with a precondition that if the wife is unable to bear him a kid within the one year of marriage he would seek divorce. Ayana has a birth defect that has rendered her infertile. But still she marries him. However he is killed. There is Yoshitaka’s legal advisor and close friend Tatsuhiko Ikai, who is a lawyer and his wife Yukiko, mother of a two month old kid. Another crucial character is Junko Tsukui, who is the friend of Ayane and who also commits suicide by consuming arsenous acid. When the mystery deepens and cannot be unscrambled, Utsumi seeks the help of her physicist friend Yukawa, whose acumen and reasoning clears the mystery.
The meaningful and logical research done by Keigo in the technicalities of the crime in the administration of the arsenic acid is commendable and praiseworthy. The investigative process and the imaginative prowess of the detective and his team show the ingenuity of the author. The string of events right from the first chapter to the last have coherence and are consistently placed.
Though the author reveals the intention of the killer in the first chapter , the wife’s being miles away from the location of her husband’s murder , her patchwork skills, her interest for gardening and watering flowers’ plants, her dedication to her husband , thoroughly attending on him when he was at home, his habit of drinking mineral water even for making coffee, the student Hiromi’s attachment to the family, Detective Kusinaga’s soft corner and attraction for Ayane and Junko’s tragic episode all make the readers ever alert and curious to know the killer Hence a prolonged applause to Keigo for the meticulous approach, for making this book an enthusiastic reading.
This is a gripping thriller. I did not attend to any social calls during the reading of this book. We must also thank the Alexanders for translating and making available such a detective book with the unpredictable suspense to all English readers. This is a must buy book for all fans who have a penchant for exceptional crime fiction. Looking forward for many more creations from Keigo and many more translated works from the Alexanders.