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Salvation of a Saint
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Salvation of a Saint

3.5 11
by Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator)

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From the author of the internationally bestselling, award-winning The Devotion of Suspect X comes the latest novel featuring "Detective Galileo"

In 2011, The Devotion of Suspect X was a hit with critics and readers alike. The first major English language publication from the most popular bestselling writer in Japan, it was acclaimed as "stunning,"


From the author of the internationally bestselling, award-winning The Devotion of Suspect X comes the latest novel featuring "Detective Galileo"

In 2011, The Devotion of Suspect X was a hit with critics and readers alike. The first major English language publication from the most popular bestselling writer in Japan, it was acclaimed as "stunning," "brilliant," and "ingenious." Now physics professor Manabu Yukawa—Detective Galileo—returns in a new case of impossible murder, where instincts clash with facts and theory with reality.

Yoshitaka, who was about to leave his marriage and his wife, is poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee and dies. His wife, Ayane, is the logical suspect—except that she was hundreds of miles away when he was murdered. The lead detective, Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi, is immediately smitten with her and refuses to believe that she could have had anything to do with the crime. His assistant, Kaoru Utsumi, however, is convinced Ayane is guilty. While Utsumi's instincts tell her one thing, the facts of the case are another matter. So she does what her boss has done for years when stymied—she calls upon Professor Manabu Yukawa.

But even the brilliant mind of Dr. Yukawa has trouble with this one, and he must somehow find a way to solve an impossible murder and capture a very real, very deadly murderer.

Salvation of a Saint is Keigo Higashino at his mind-bending best, pitting emotion against fact in a beautifully plotted crime novel filled with twists and reverses that will astonish and surprise even the most attentive and jaded of readers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Brilliant ... While readers of classic mysteries will be delighted with the elegant solution, the book will also appeal to fans of procedurals that carefully develop the relationships among the investigative team members.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A retro puzzler that recalls Anthony Berkeley's classic The Poisoned Chocolates Case.” —Kirkus Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
To dispute a common complaint: They are indeed writing confounding puzzle mysteries the way they used to. They just happen to be writing them in Japanese. And by "they," I mean Keigo Higashino, whose elegant whodunits featuring a physicist known as Detective Galileo are feats of classic ratiocination.
—Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
Howdunit, rather than whodunit, appears to be the central question of Edgar-finalist Higashino’s brilliant second mystery featuring Tokyo police detective Manabu Yukawa (after 2011’s The Devotion of Suspect X). After Yoshitaka Mashiba tells his wife, Ayane, that their short marriage is over because she hasn’t become pregnant, Ayane thinks about “the white powder hidden in a sealed plastic bag” and decides that her husband has to die, adding a cryptic “too.” When Ayane leaves town to tend to an ailing parent, her protégé, who’s also her husband’s mistress, stops by to find Mashiba dead of what turns out to be arsenic poisoning. How did the poison enter the victim’s system at a time when the obvious suspect, the scorned wife, was away? While readers of classic mysteries will be delighted with the elegant solution, the book will also appeal to fans of procedurals that carefully develop the relationships among the investigative team members. Agent: Anna Stein, Aitken Alexander Associates. (Oct.)
Library Journal
A man is found poisoned to death in his home a few days after he announced to his wife his desire for them to separate. Tokyo detective Kusanagi and his partner begin to round up the suspects, with the jilted wife as the leading contender. Was it the girlfriend, the business associate, or a random act of violence? The solution eludes the investigators until physics professor Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, is introduced to the case. But even his brilliant mind can't seem to connect all the pieces. VERDICT This intricate, sophisticated story will pique the interest of the most avid mystery readers, especially those who loved the author's acclaimed The Devotion of Suspect X. With this new book, Higashino has taken the art and craft of mystery writing to a new level of excellence. [See Prepub Alert, 7/12.]—Ron Samul, New London, CT
Kirkus Reviews
A Tokyo CEO's determination to run his marriage as a business is ended by a dose of arsenous acid. Information technology company president Yoshitaka Mashiba knows what he wants, and what he wants is a child. If his wife Ayane, a noted patchwork quilter, can't give him one after a year of marriage, he's prepared to divorce her and move on to some likelier candidate. But his plans are thwarted when someone poisons his coffee during a weekend when Ayane is conveniently away in Sapporo. Is the killer Hiromi Wakayama, the apprentice quilter whom Yoshitaka had taken as his mistress? She seems the last person in the world who'd poison her lover, but she was clearly the only person present when he died. Detective Kusanagi, of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, searches in vain for other suspects, but the real question this claustrophobic mystery poses isn't whodunit but how it happened--how and when the poison got into Yoshitaka's coffee cup without leaving traces anywhere else, not even in Hiromi's cup. For better or worse, Kusanagi (The Devotion of Suspect X, 2011) finds that every time he and his junior colleagues eliminate each possible way some absent party could have doctored Yoshitaka's coffee, consulting physicist Manabu Yukawa, aka Detective Galileo, comes up with some alternative scenario that's even more preposterous. A retro puzzler that recalls Anthony Berkeley's classic The Poisoned Chocolates Case in its structure: a hyperextended short story whose complications keep unfolding and proliferating till it's grown to novel length.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Detective Galileo Series , #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt



The pansies in the planter had flowered—a few small, bright blooms. The dry soil didn’t seem to have dimmed the color of the petals. Not particularly showy flowers, but they’re tough, Ayane thought, gazing out onto the veranda through the sliding glass door. I’ll have to water them when I get a chance.

“Have you heard a single word I’ve said?” Yoshitaka asked.

She turned around and smiled faintly. “Yes, everything. How could I not?”

“You might try answering more quickly, then.” Yoshitaka, lounging on the sofa, uncrossed and recrossed his long legs. In his frequent workouts, he took pains not to put on too much lower-body muscle—nothing that would prevent him from wearing the slim-cut dress pants he preferred.

“I suppose my mind must’ve wandered.”

“Oh? That’s not like you.” Her husband raised a single sculpted eyebrow.

“What you said was surprising, you know.”

“I find that hard to believe. You should be familiar with my life plan by now.”

“Familiar … Maybe so.”

“What are you trying to say?” Yoshitaka leaned back and stretched his arms out along the sofa top, ostentatious in his lack of concern. Ayane wondered if he was acting or if he truly was that nonchalant.

She took a breath and stared at his handsome features.

“Is it such a big deal to you?” she asked.

“Is what a big deal?”

“Having children.”

Yoshitaka gave a derisive, wry little smile; he glanced away, then looked back at her. “You haven’t been listening to me at all, have you?”

“I have been listening,” she said with a glare she hoped he’d notice. “That’s why I’m asking.”

The smile faded from his lips. He nodded slowly. “It is a big deal. A very big deal. Essential, even. If we can’t have children, there’s no point to us being married. Romantic love between a man and a woman always fades with time. People live together in order to build a family. A man and woman get married and become husband and wife. Then they have children and become father and mother. Only then do they become life partners in the true sense of the word. You don’t agree?”

“I just don’t think that’s all marriage is.”

Yoshitaka shook his head. “I do. I believe it quite strongly and have no intention of changing my mind. Which is to say, I’ve no intention of continuing on like this if we can’t have children.”

Ayane pressed her fingers to her temples. She had a headache. She hadn’t seen this one coming. “Let me get this straight,” she said. “You don’t need a woman who can’t bear your children. So you’ll throw me out and switch to someone who can? That’s what you’re telling me?”

“No need to put it so harshly.”

“But that’s what you’re saying!”

Yoshitaka straightened. He hesitated, frowning slightly, before nodding again. “I suppose that from your perspective it would look that way, yes. You have to understand, I take my life plan very seriously. More seriously than anything else.”

Ayane’s lips curled upward, though smiling was the furthest thing from her mind. “You like telling people that, don’t you? How you take your life plan so seriously. It was one of the first things you said when we met.”

“What are you so upset about, Ayane? You have everything you ever wanted. If there’s something I’ve forgotten, just ask. I intend to do everything I can for you. So let’s just stop all this fussing, and start thinking about the future. Unless you see some other way forward?”

Ayane turned to face the wall. Her eyes fell on a meter-wide tapestry hanging there. It had taken her three months to make it; she remembered the material, special ordered direct from a manufacturer in England.

She didn’t need Yoshitaka to tell her how important children were. She had wanted them herself, desperately. How many times had she dreamed of sitting in a rocking chair, stitching a patchwork quilt, watching her belly grow larger with each passing day? But God, in his mischief, had made that impossible. So she had given up—it wasn’t like she’d had a choice—and resigned herself to living without. She had thought her husband would be okay with that.

“I know it might seem silly to you, but can I ask one question?”


Ayane faced him again, taking a deep breath. “What about your love for me? Whatever happened to that?”

Yoshitaka flinched, then gradually his smile returned. “My love for you hasn’t changed a bit,” he said. “I can assure you of that. I do still love you.”

That was a complete lie, as far as Ayane was concerned. But she smiled and said that was good. She wasn’t sure how else to respond.

“Let’s go.” Yoshitaka stood and headed for the door.

Ayane glanced at her dresser, thinking about the white powder hidden in a sealed plastic bag in the bottommost drawer on the right.

Guess I’ll be using that soon, she thought, the last glimmer of hope fading beneath the shadow inside her.

As she followed him out the door, she stared at Yoshitaka’s back, thinking, I love you more than anything else in this world. That’s why your words were like a knife stabbing me in the heart.

That’s why you have to die, too.


Copyright © 2008 by Keigo Higashino

Meet the Author

KEIGO HIGASHINO is currently the bestselling author in Japan with over three dozen bestsellers, hundreds of millions of copies of his books sold worldwide, and nearly twenty films and television series based on his work. He won the Naoki Prize for his first novel featuring Detective Galileo and he lives in Tokyo, Japan.

ALEXANDER O. SMITH has translated a wide variety of novels, manga, and video games, for which he has been nominated for the Eisner Award, and won the ALA's Batchelder Award. He studied at Dartmouth College and holds an M.A. in Classical Japanese from Harvard University. He lives in Vermont.

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Salvation of a Saint 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
jprince More than 1 year ago
I have read this and the earlier Devotion of Suspect X. I preferred this one I believe. Unlike X, in this book you aren't told from the get-go who the murderer is. You have a good idea, but there is a still a chance that you don't know. I think it added a bit more depth to the plot. Much like the earlier novel, it's a very complicated decision tree that one must be led down to understand the crime. I enjoyed the novel and didn't feel frustrated by the false leads that others complained of. I would recommend the read because it's a departure from the formulaic murder mysteries that are so popular today.
Skeetor More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in a series but stands well independently. (I haven&rsquo;t read the first in the series, but plan to.) The characters are very interesting and the book is well-written but this mystery is not an action-packed thriller if that is your interest. It reminds me of a Columbo-style story in which how the murder was committed, what the motive was, and gaining evidence against the perpetrator are emphasized. I am also impressed by the translation. It reads rather smoothly for a book originally written in Japanese.
pathak More than 1 year ago
it is a must read.....is magnificently intricate and nail biting suspense from keigo higashino....with the perfect tinge of turmoil  in  inter personal relationship..... . this is an essential reading for all exceptional crime fiction buff...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Rishcik70 More than 1 year ago
Not as engaging as The Devotion of Suspect X but still an extraordinary story of moves and countermoves...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
What&rsquo;s more effective in solving a crime: a detective&rsquo;s intuition and police skills, or the scientific method? This theme seems to be a recurring one in the author&rsquo;s approach to crime fiction. In &ldquo;The Devotion of Suspect X,&rdquo; Mr. Higashino&rsquo;s last book, a mathematician was pitted against physics professor Yukawa, also dubbed &ldquo;Detective Galileo,&rdquo; while an actual detective, Kusanagi, plied his trade using his intuition and other skills. In the present mystery, they repeat this dance in trying to solve what at first appears to be a perfect murder. The crime revolves around the death of a CEO by poisoning, and the investigation turns up no evidence of the source of the substance. It is quickly determined that this was not a case of suicide. The wife, usually a prime suspect, was thousands of miles away, and the paramour is also cleared. A junior detective, Kaoru Utsuni, stubbornly pursues the case, finally turning to the professor when neither she nor Kusanagi make any progress in solving the murder. And then the fun begins: logic vs. gut feeling. The author demonstrates a wonderful ability to wrap a puzzle within an enigma, supplying twist after twist to keep the pages turning, raising the tension as the investigation progresses. This is one clever plot, and the novel is highly recommended.
JunkPumpkin More than 1 year ago
This was a halfway decent idea for a short story that was unforgivably stretched and padded into a novel. I'm not going to give anything away but for safety's sake I'll say SPOILER ALERT here. This is more of a How-Done-It than a Who-Done-It. But a How-Done-It generally can't take up more than 50 pages, and the author wants to make a hardcover bestseller score here. So he has the detectives in this story go into several lines of inquiry that you KNOW are going to end up being irrelevant to the solution. Do you know how frustrating it is to read an account of a charisma-free detective on a wild goose chase that you know as you're reading it is a wild goose chase? I hope you never find out. And even though the author tries to justify all his padding by tying all the irrelevant information together into the final solution (shame on anyone who was fooled by this), the fact remains that the detectives have all the evidence they need after the opening chapters and the rest of their investigation (and their interminable arguments with each other and insufferable inner monologues) is fluff.