A Midsummer’s Equation
A Detective Galileo Mystery #3
Minotaur Books, February 2016
In The Devotion of Suspect X, the author created not only a first-class, original crime novel, but a singular character: a physicist, Manabu Yukawa, dubbed Dr. Galileo, who turned out to be an excellent amateur detective. In this sequel, he applies the same scientific logic in helping to solve a murder, although the police believed the death to be an accident.
The new novel is a twisted tale full of unexpected turns in the plot. It begins with the visit of a fifth-grade young man to a seaside resort on the Japanese coast, to a dilapidated inn run by his uncle and aunt, where he befriends Yukawa, who takes him under his wing, teaching the boy about various scientific principles and helping him with his homework. At the same inn a retired Tokyo homicide detective checks in and is soon discovered dead, presumably after a fall onto rocks lining the coast.
The story is far from a simple murder mystery and has its roots in the past. The plot is full of surprises. As was its predecessor, A Midsummer’s Equation is distinguished not only by the scientific content as applied to the case, but the moralistic conclusions as well. Once again Higashino has written a clever tale that is deep and satisfying, and highly recommended.
Reviewed by Ted Feit, February 2017.