The excellent David Pittu works hard at extracting every nuance, shade, and layer from the serviceable text. He seems to be able to anticipate the listener's own imaginative perception just where you'd imagine a tremor in the voice, or something spoken through gritted teeth, or with a sigh, he delivers just that, and right on time. It's uncanny. Where he comes up short is his performance of Yasuko, the single mother victimized by her ex-husband. Pittu portrays her with a tongue-tied gentleness, all downcast eyes and suppressed sighs; this sorrowful passivity in such a central character grates, becoming a reductive reminder of her victim status. But its author Higashino who must take the blame for this; Yasuko is a former nightclub hostess, which opens up all kinds of character possibilities and tensions that just aren't present here. Her relationship with her teen daughter is vitally important to the plot, but the daughter herself gets short shrift until a dramatic development only serves to underscore her absence from the book's main narrative.
Another cipher is Dr. Yukawa, the physicist who is called in to offer gnomish words of wisdom in some kind of consultancy capacity. He’s the star of a series of books published in Japan, and it’s a testament to the underlying efficiency and dramatic pull of the core story here that, despite the limited ambitions of this particular outing, listeners will certainly want to hear more from this potentially gripping franchise. Dafydd Phillips
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By richard on 04-10-13
What did you like best about The Devotion of Suspect X? What did you like least?
This was an excellent story which I thoroughly enjoyed up until the point of the confession. It could have ended so much better than it did and I wish the author would rewrite the ending.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Howard on 13-02-11
Devoted tale of kindness and unknown friendship.
There is an old saying about a friend will help you move, but a real friend will help you move a body. This is an above average story exploring the latter. A lonely math nerd comes to the aid of a single mother and her teenage daughter. The story pulls you along, forcing you to compete with the characters as they practice their deception or those seeking the truth. I spent the first few chapters (if not half the story) trying to decide which character was my hero only to conclude each had their own integrity, values and redeeming qualities. This is not your typical crime mystery - it's so much more. I greatly enjoyed it and hope you do too.
38 of 39 people found this review helpful
By connie on 04-02-11
not really like Larsson -- but that's OK
This seemed to me more akin to PD James ---more a psychological why-dunnit and how-dunnit than a who-dunnit, more about the character and plot than action, but (at least in translation) the novel does not have James' tight prose. It's about the personal more than the political, even if the central event does highlight domestic abuse. Glimpses of Japanese society add interest. Happily it's not another cookie cutter ???edge of seat??? violent thriller. Neither is the psychology too dark. I found the narration good but not outstanding.
It's an original mystery for fans of global gumshoes (and this time the shoe is on the other foot). Well worth a listen.
83 of 89 people found this review helpful