Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Keigo Higashino - Salvation of a Saint

I do not have a huge budget for buying books.  A book that costs Rs.350/- or more makes me groan.  I am not one of those IT professionals who take home upward of 50k every month. Much much less in fact.

I could join a library, you might suggest.  There are seldom good choices available in a library.  It is like shopping for exotic vegetables on the cart of the vendor who roams in your mohalla.   Just like the cart is often loaded with the ubiquitous aloo, the library is also loaded with books that were published in the 50s.

Hence you are forced to buy books if you are to read the latest titles that are reviewed in the newspapers.  If the book measures up to your expectations,  you do not mind the money you spent on it.  If it does not, you rue even the poor tree that was cut down to print the book.

I read a glowing review of the book by Keigo Higashino, Salvation of a Saint in a newspaper.  That sent me off to flipkart.com to order the book.

Yoshitaka and Ayane are on the verge of a split.  He is carrying on with her friend and  assistant Hiromi. Ayane is upset about this and goes to visit her mother.  She has to hurry back when her husband is discovered dead in his house, a cup of poisoned coffee by his side.  What looks like a suicide is found to be murder.  Detective Kusanagi steps in and finds himself falling for the lovely widow.  His assistant is worried that it will affect his judgement.  She decides to get help from an old friend.

The story is narrated skilfully and keeps you turning pages.  The writer gives away very little, just a tantalizing hint here and a glimpse there to make you suspect this or that character.

However, the denouement, when it did come, made me feel a wee bit let down.  The mystery of how the man was poisoned seemed a bit far fetched.  And the story also changed a lot in the last chapter.

The novel was not too skilfully translated.  The translation is not really smooth.  It is a bit awkward in places.

It is good enough to read in an airport/metro and all such places where you just want to lose yourself in something racy to while away the long hours. 


dustedoff said...

I'd seen this in Arunava Sinha's hand when he came to the Delhi Literature Festival - he told me Higashino's first book had been fantastic, so he thought this one would be too. I'd been thinking of buying both, now I'll have to think again. Have you read the first one, Ava?

Ava Suri said...

No Madhu, I have not read his first. Somehow I don't want to. You can try his first.

I read a review of this one in HT or IE, not sure which paper. It was pretty glowing. Which is why I picked it up.

harveypam said...

Such a promising start and then such a disappointment. Ending bad all bad!
Wish you a better book next time!

Bhargavi said...

I think I have this one my TBR . now wondering if I should bother.. Its a bitch when we spend hard-earned money on something that doesn't live up to our expectations..

Vee said...

Ek samay tak padh sakte hain aisi books. It's like movies. No matter what, I cannot enjoy Sci-Fi or Horror or Action movies despite watching them. Same goes for books.

Ye Airport / Queue light type books nahi padhi jaati

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