The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Hagashino [Book Review]
The joy of reading detective fiction needn’t come from the crime—at least, not directly. The details of any crime, from the methods used by the criminal to his or her motivations, are often interchangeable between different detective stories. What an unsolved crime actually presents is a problem waiting to be solved; detective fiction lets us examine how a brilliant mind pierces the mystery and uncovers the truth. The means to the truth can be more interesting than the truth itself.
Japanese novelist Keigo Hagashino understands the reader interest that comes from seeing how details are revealed, rather than the revelations themselves, as shown in his latest entry in his Detective Galileo series, The Devotion of Suspect X. Dr. Manubu Yukawa, nicknamed Galileo, follows the familiar character trope of an expert in a field not normally associated with crime-fighting moonlighting as a detective: in this case, Galileo is a physics professor that sometimes aids the Tokyo police force with difficult cases. Galileo and his friend in the Tokyo Police, Kusanagi, have their own Holmes-Watson dynamic, with Kusanagi playing the foil for Galileo. Whenever the Tokyo Police’s investigation is faced with an obstacle, Galileo comes up with a new theory that gets investigation moving again.