The story and the mystery kept me hooked to the book until the end and when the end happened, it got me and made me wonder, ‘why couldn’t I guess it?’ Then, I concluded - probably, I am not smart enough and I don’t think out of the box.
Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense…
You learn that Yasuko and her daughter, Misato, kill Yasuko’s ex-husband, who haunted them like a bad dream even after 5 years of divorce, and their neighbor, Ishigami, gets rid of the dead body for them. He, who is also head over heels for Yasuko, does his best to save the mother and daughter duo from getting discovered by police because he cannot bear to watch them behind bars, wasting away their lives in prison. However, I am sure that even the sharpest of you wouldn’t be able to guess to what extent he goes to save his neighbors from the fate that they would have met otherwise.
Ishigami would have fooled the police easily if not for the challenge posed by Yukawa, who is as good as Ishigami himself, as they went to same college – the Imperial College. One is a mathematic genius who ended up as a school teacher and another, detective Galileo – as nicknamed by police – who works as an assistant scientist at Imperial College. They encounter eachother after many years because of detective Kusanagi, who also went to the same college and is Yukawa’s friend since many years.
Ishigami and Yukawa battle eachother, one to save his unrequited love and another to just help his detective friend, but for whatever reason they fought, they fought well, unwinding the mystery.
Kudo, Yasuko’s friend, adds a small love triangle to the story but other than that he plays no important role.
In my opinion, the book - all the two million copies – sold on the ending alone. Nevertheless, it was a good read. It showed me how human mind works. It let me peep into characters’ psyches.
I’m a Mathematics person too and I liked the way Ishigami explained the importance of the subject to his unwilling students. Also, he made me wonder whether he is good with numbers because of his personality or his personality is the way it is because of Mathematics. Whatever it is, he turned out to be a quite interesting character.
Keigo Higashino’s writing is simple and crisp too. I rate the book 4 out of 5.