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  • Writer's pictureAnanya Ak

Salvation of a Saint Review

The book, Salvation of a Saint, kept on a quilt. On the side of the book are a teacup and saucer, a small bottle of mineral water, and a coffee filter.

Trigger Warning: Death, infidelity

What kind of thrillers do you like? Ones which make you go, “Oh my god, I should have known!” at the end or those that make you go, “OMG WTF was that?!” (in a good way)?

It’s hard for me to decide between the two…all I want, usually, is that, “Aha!” moment.

Keigo Higashino’s books fall firmly in the second category for me, because I know that I just couldn’t have seen the ending coming.

It was that way with Devotion of Suspect X (still my favourite Higashino book), and it’s the same with Salvation of a Saint.

Let me tell you, right off the bat, that I liked this one less than Devotion of Suspect X. But it was no less masterful.

Rather than a whodunnit like mysteries usually tend to be, this was a how-dunnit (which, I think, is a theme with all Higashino books).

We know who the killer is right at the beginning of the book, and we even know why the murder happened. What we don’t know is how.


Yoshitaka Mashiba is dead; poisoned in his own home. As these stories usually go, his beautiful wife, the famous patchwork artist Ayane, is the prime (and probably only) suspect. The only problem? She was hundreds of miles away at her parents’ place when the murder happened: an airtight alibi.

As detective Kusanagi tries to make sense of the events leading up to the murder, his judgement is clouded by his infatuation with Ayane. Enter his friend and occasional helper Yukawa (fondly known as Detective Galileo), who follows his own trail to find the killer in this confusing case with too few suspects…

My thoughts:

Clues are revealed in bits and pieces and it’s almost frustrating how nothing really adds up until Yukawa reveals all in the end.

There was definitely an “aha!” moment when all was revealed. It didn’t give me goosebumps like the big reveal in Devotion of Suspect X did, but it was enough to leave me flummoxed.

Everything about this book, from the adorably distant infatuation of detective Kusanagi, to the dogged pursual of the truth by junior detective Utsumi was brilliantly executed.

They say Higashino is “The Japanese Stieg Larsson” but I disagree. With his unique style of revealing the killer at the outset and his not-so-disturbing writing style (his books are unfailingly polite; gentle, even), he’s in a category of his own;, not someone who can be compared with any English thriller writer.

I don’t really have much else to say about this book except that I highly recommend it to thriller buffs.

(PS: For the author bio, check out my post on The Devotion of Suspect X)


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