The Devotion of Suspect X

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The Devotion of Suspect X
First edition (Japanese)
AuthorKeigo Higashino
Original titleYōgisha X no Kenshin
TranslatorAlexander O. Smith
SeriesDetective Galileo
GenreCrime / Mystery novel
Published2005 (Bungeishunjū) (Japanese)
2011 (Minotaur Books) (English)
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Preceded byYochimu
Followed bySalvation of a Saint

The Devotion of Suspect X (容疑者Xの献身, Yōgisha Ekkusu no Kenshin) is a 2005 novel by Keigo Higashino, the third in his Detective Galileo series and is his most acclaimed work thus far. The novel won him numerous awards, including the 134th Naoki Prize, which is a highly regarded award in Japan. The novel also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the mystery novels category in Japan.[1] 2006 Honkaku Mystery Best 10 and Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2006, annual mystery fiction guide books published in Japan, ranked the novel as the number one.

The English translation was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Barry Award for Best First Novel.


The story begins with Tetsuya Ishigami and Yasuko Hanaoka following their daily routines. Yasuko is a divorced single mother who works at a bento shop. Tetsuya is a highly talented mathematics teacher, who lives next door to Yasuko and her daughter, Misato.

Yasuko's abusive ex-husband, Togashi, shows up one day to extort money from Yasuko. He threatens both her and Misato. The situation quickly escalates into domestic violence, prompting Yasuko and Misato to kill Togashi. Overhearing the commotion, Ishigami, who is secretly enamored of Yasuko but has never told her so, offers his help, disposing of the body and plotting the cover-up of the murder step-by-step.

When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi, who was initially investigating the disappearance of Togashi, draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko's manufactured alibi, but he is still sure that there is something wrong with her alibi, a suspicion that he cannot shake. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and his college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa also went to college with Ishigami, where he learned of Ishigami's problem-solving techniques and abilities; Yukawa highly rates Ishigami's intelligence. After meeting him again after so many years, Yukawa becomes convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high-level battle of wits between Yukawa and Ishigami, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa; the teacher is Yukawa's most clever and determined opponent yet.

Towards the end, both Ishigami's scheme and the reason for his devotion to Yasuko are revealed: Ishigami had lost his will to live due to his depression, and was prepared to commit suicide when he was interrupted by Yasuko and Misato introducing themselves, leading him to become deeply attached to her and thankful for her unknowingly saving his life. In order to deceive the investigation, Ishigami murdered a second person, a homeless man who he had seen prior on his commute to work, and made the police believe he was Togashi, in order to obfuscate the time of the murder and make it so that in the end he could take the fall.

Yukawa is ultimately able to figure out his scheme and cannot accept his friend's sacrifice, and so he tells Yasuko the truth. She is deeply moved and despite Ishigami's instructions to move forward, is unable to live with the guilt. The book ends with her meeting Ishigami in jail, revealing that she and Misato have confessed to killing Togashi and are determined to serve their sentence together with him, leaving him in tears.


  • Tetsuya Ishigami (石神 哲哉, Ishigami Tetsuya)
Solitary Maths teacher who has fallen in love with Yasuko
  • Yasuko Hanaoka (花岡 靖子, Hanaoka Yasuko)
A single mother who murdered her ex-husband
  • Misato Hanaoka (花岡 美里, Hanaoka Misato)
Yasuko's daughter from a previous marriage
  • Manabu Yukawa
Tetsuya Ishigami's old college friend, both are as intelligent as the other.
  • Shunpei Kusanagi
Detective in charge of dealing with the case of Togashi's murder
  • Shinji Togashi (富樫 慎二, Togashi Shinji)
Yasuko's ex-husband who stalked her and is later killed by her and her daughter, the victim of the crime under investigation

Awards and nominations[edit]

Japanese awards
U.S. awards


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Honkaku Mystery Writers Club of Japan Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  2. ^ "Itoyama gets Akutagawa; Higashino receives Naoki". The Japan Times. 2006-01-18. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  3. ^ "The Edgars 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  4. ^ "Barry Award Winners 2012". Deadly Pleasures. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  5. ^ The 2012 List | Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  6. ^ Pierce Conran (2013-03-17). "Review: PERFECT NUMBER Is a Handsome but Frustrating Adaptation". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  7. ^ "嫌疑人X的献身 (2016)". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  8. ^ "Kolaigaran Movie Review". The Times of India. 2019-06-07. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  9. ^ Srinivasa Ramanujam (2019-06-07). "'Kolaigaran' review: A killer tale". The Hindu. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  10. ^ Ranjani Krishnakumar (2019-06-07). "'Kolaigaran' Movie Review: Vijay Antony Still Can't Act But Thankfully That Doesn't Matter Here". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  11. ^ Karthik Kumar (2019-06-07). "Kolaigaran movie review: This Vijay Antony starrer is a well executed investigative thriller". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  12. ^ "Kolaigaran review: An engaging crime thriller". Sify. 2019-06-07. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  13. ^ S Subhakeerthana (2019-06-07). "Kolaigaran movie review: A well-made investigative thriller with solid twists and turns". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  14. ^ Gautaman Bhaskaran (2019-06-07). "Kolaigaran Movie Review: You Won't Be Able to Guess the Culprit". News18 India. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  15. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (March 16, 2022). "Kareena Kapoor Khan Leads Netflix Indian Adaptation of 'The Devotion of Suspect X'". Variety.