The Devotion of Suspect X

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For the 2008 film, see Suspect X.
The Devotion of Suspect X
Devotion of suspect x .jpg
2011 English translation cover art.
Author Keigo Higashino
Original title Yōgisha X no Kenshin
Translator Alexander O. Smith
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Series Detective Galileo
Genre Crime / Mystery novel
Published 2005 (Bungeishunjū) (Japanese)
2011 (Minotaur Books) (English)
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 352
ISBN 4-16-323860-3
Preceded by Yochimu
Followed by Salvation 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 Grand Prize, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the mystery novels category in Japan. 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.

Balaji Telefilms is currently planning to create a film on the novel.

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 doing their daily routine. Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who works at a restaurant packing meals to its locals. Ishigami is a highly talented Mathematics teacher, lives next door of Yasuko and Misato (Yasuko's daughter). When Togashi (Yasuko's abusive ex-husband) shows up one day to extort money from Yasuko, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi is killed by mother and daughter on the apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

When the body turns up and is identified, Kusanagi (the detective investigating the murder case) draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. 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 learns of Ishigami's problem solving techniques and highly rates Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

When Yukawa finally understands Ishigami's plans, he is awestruck by the devotion shown by Ishigami. Ishigami, is not the person everyone sees but only Yukawa could understand his plan to cover the murder committed by Yasuko.


  • Tetsuya Ishigami
Math teacher who has fallen in love with Yasuko
  • Yasuko Hanaoka
A single mother who murdered her ex-husband
  • Misato Hanaoka
Yasuko's daughter from a previous marriage
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
Yasuko's ex-husband who stalked her and is later killed by her

Awards and nominations[edit]

Japanese Awards
U.S. Awards


  • It was made into a 2008 Japanese film Suspect X, starring Shinichi Tsutsumi as Tetsuya Ishigami and Masaharu Fukuyama as Manabu Yukawa, directed by Hiroshi Nishitani.
  • The 2012 South Korean film adaptation Perfect Number (Hangul: 용의자X; lit. "Suspect X") starred Ryoo Seung-bum, Lee Yo-won and Cho Jin-woong, and was directed by Bang Eun-jin.
  • The English language film adaptation rights were acquired by Kross Pictures in 2011, and is being developed in Los Angeles, California under the working title The Devotion of Suspect X.
  • The Hindi language Bollywood film adaptation rights has been acquired by Balaji Telefilms and Sujoy Ghosh the noted director of Kahaani fame has been roped in to direct it.The film may see the return of Vidya Balan as the single mother (Yasuko).Other actors rumored to star includes Naseeruddin Shah,Parambrata Chatterjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.[2]
  • 2013 Indian Malayalam drama–thriller film Drishyam is loosely based on this book.

See also[edit]