crime

Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

1431558Title: Smaller and Smaller Circles

Author: F.H. Batacan

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Suspense, Filipino Literature

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Smaller and Smaller Circles is unique in the Philippine literary scene – a Pinoy detective novel, both fast-paced and intelligent, with a Jesuit priest who also happens to be a forensic anthropologist as the sleuth. When it won the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize for the English Novel in 1999, it proved that fiction can be both popular and literary.

F.H. Batacan has a degree in Broadcast Communication and a master’s degree in Art Studies, both from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She has worked as a policy researcher, broadcast journalist, web designer, and musician, and is currently a journalist based in Singapore. She previously won a prize for her short story “Door 59” in the 1997 Palanca awards, and her work has appeared in local magazines, as well as in the online literary magazine Web del Sol.

Smaller and Smaller Circles is one of those rare one-of-a-kind books that you discover by some lucky stroke of fate and treasure for a lifetime.

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The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

Okay, I was supposed to write reviews for the books I listed in my previous post, but I just needed to gush about this book first!!

9781250002693

Title: The Devotion of Suspect X

Author: Keigo Higashino

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her 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, Detective Kusanagi 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 college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with 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.

Wow. This. Book. Is. Brilliant.

Okay, so the reason I actually discovered this book was because someone in K-pop was reading it and I was curious to find out about his reading tastes. LOL @ my shallow reasons XDD But I regret nothing now!!!

The Devotion of Suspect X begins with an accidental murder. Yasuko Hanaoka is your normal lady trying to live a normal life with her daughter. Except she’s got this no-good ex-husband, Togashi, who shows up and tries to get money from her. She tries to refuse, he threatens her and eventually he ends up dead on the floor of her apartment. Her neighbor, Ishigami (who has a sort of crush on her), overhears the commotion and decides to help her get rid of the body and cover up the entire thing.

Okay, that sounds pretty normal for a mystery/crime novel, I guess. Except Ishigami is a mathematical genius who uses logic to create a plan that is super brilliant, and one I don’t really want to talk about because I might end up saying something spoilery. Nevertheless, it is amazing to read the book and unravel the pieces of the puzzle one by one.

It’s pretty interesting how math is a factor in this…I hate math but the way it is explained in this book is simple and easy to understood (kudos to you author and translator!!). I’ve always said you don’t really need ~complicated math in real life but…Ishigami treats the murder like a mathematical equation and just… nah, nope not gonna say anything because

But anyway. I was surprised at how fast I read through this book, even with the math equations and explanations. Because normally math makes me fall asleep or run away. lmao The story just sucked me in, waiting in anticipation and dread for them to discover who the killer was. Because I really, really didn’t want the police to find out since Yasuko, well, was justified in her reasons and I didn’t want her life (and her daughter’s) to be ruined :c

The plot twist totally killed me because I did not see it happeniiiiiing AT ALL, which was pretty awesome for me because…this is a crime novel where you know from the start who the killer is. It’s just..how everything was done being slowly explained throughout the book that’s so enthralling…and just when I thought I knew everything and decided to just wait for the inevitable (because well, shouldn’t all crime novels end with the crimes being solved lol), the author came and punched me in the face while cackling and saying, “Hah! Surprise!!”

And that left me stunned and unable to sleep for a while, despite the fact that I stayed up late to finish reading. lels

bless my source for discovering a new author to love huhu