Saturday, May 12

Crime: Experience and Review

Our bike got stolen a few days ago.

(I’m not kidding you.)

(Who jokes about things like that?!!)

Our brand new Pulsar 150 DTSi, the gleaming black adorable beastie, which we’d bought just this Gudi Padwa (March 22, 2012) vanished in broad daylight from the Pulse parking lot (which we later learnt was not the “official” parking place).

Didn’t know this happens in Pune.
Can’t believe it happened to us.

Aren’t good things supposed to happen to good people?
And if not, can’t at least the bad things stay away?

Life’s not fair, I knew it. After all, can’t expect a hungry lion not to eat you coz you’re vegetarian. But this very disappointing. Very annoying. All my optimism has gone astray and my peace of mind is shattered.

All the good muhurat banter while buying the bike seems like nonsense now, and I have little faith in Indian policemen and justice-vendors now that the vehicle’s lost. All we can do now is wait a while and claim theft insurance that we fortunately took. However, the pain won’t go away, and the wound will stay. It’s not fair. And there’s nothing we can do about it. Period.

Let’s move on to the book review requested by Blogadda : The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from being racist or discriminating, but with lengthy Japanese words, reading and writing becomes a daunting task. So much so, that I have a mental block towards making an attempt to comprehend those seemingly similar and equally complicated names of people and streets. I more than once skipped the name and came back later to verify it when a prior reference was made. I am aware that not all global citizens have easy names - Spanish, French and Italian, for instance. But this post is about the BOOK review, so let’s bid adieu to deviating linguistic discussions.

“Sometimes, all you had to do was exist in order to be someone's saviour.”  

Fantastic thought, innit...?? 

The story revolves around a police investigation of the murder of a man who had divorced his wife but continued to haunt and harass her. It involves in important characters, the man and his wife, their young daughter and two wanna-be-lovers of the woman apart from the detectives and an informal sleuth. 

(Pls do not ask me to name them; have pity on me and the remainder of the post. However, Ishigami is my favorite character... He's one of the two wanna-be-lovers, and a very smart and sincere mathematician.

As the plot builds up, there are a variety of twists that will confuse you, astonish you, impress you and then strike you as totally reasonable. You will find yourself feeling empathy and anger, frustration and trepidation. Alibis, love, wit, worry, thrill, simplicity – this novel has it all. You will feel pity and concern for the murderer and accomplices, and hate the victim’s guts. You can connect with the people who wish to protect their loved ones, yet fear and applaud the cold, calculative and accurate ways of the geniuses. The detective's inclination to let off the hook some folks, and frustration over not comprehending the situation will appeal to you as will the sympathy that most people feel towards an exploited woman. 

Under no circumstances will you be able to predict what comes next. What more could a reader wish for?

To me, the book is more about the clever and rapid interaction between the sleuth and lover of the woman, two alumni and friends, than anything else. Their speed of thought and action is amazing, and their respect for each other’s intelligence is awe-inspiring.

Serendipity hit when I read in black and white, two ideas that I’d always toyed with, myself. One, is it more difficult to solve a challenging problem or to create one. Two, is it easier to solve a problem yourself or check if someone else has done it accurately.

How they form part of this post and the story, I shall let you discover for yourself.

The book is a quick read, I finished it in just a few hours in a very busy week. The narration is fantastic – direct, uncomplicated and engaging. I did not realise when I finished 50 then 100 pages and finally 200 pages. It’s been a while since I read a novel that made me forget the ticking of the clock, and that this book achieved this feat is no lean task. Good job there, Mr. Writer (ahem! I’m not taking names…!!)

Apparently, this book sold over 2 million copies in Japan and became a national obsession in 2005 post which it was translated in English in 2011. It has also been made into a cult film. My, I would like to watch that sometime…

But for now, grab your copy of the Devotion of Suspect X… and enjoy the chase!


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1 comment:

Vishal Bheeroo said...

Dear Anuja,
I am shocked as to how ur family lost their black Pulsar and as you rightly mentioned, That too in Pune. It's shocking and revolting. I can understand how you guys must be feeling. I lost my expensive cell in my Mumbai hostel way back in 2006. I remembered what a friend told me on orkut, "Bad things happen to Good people sometimes," though one can never compare a bike to a cell phone. I pray that you will recover the bike.
I am looking forward to read The Devotion of Suspect X. Always trust your review:)
Cheers N God bless U

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