“Silent Parade”

“Silent Parade” is part of the Detective Galileo Series, but many significant things unfold before readers actually meet him.  A man was charged with murder. He was guilty, plain, and simple, and yet he insisted he did not do it. Without a confession and without hard evidence, the police had no choice but to release him. Some time later, he dies during an annual parade. Surely this death is not just a coincidence. The obvious suspects, the family of the murder victim, all have ironclad alibis; the Investigation hits a brick wall. It requires the skills of Professor Manabu Yukawa, better known as Detective Galileo, professor of physics and unofficial consultant to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. He unravels impossible crimes and is called upon when a case is problematic, and that certainly describes this case perfectly.  While his theories may sometimes seem preposterous on the surface, in the end they are intuitive and correct.

People are the focus of this story, and Higashino constructs a narrative with extensive background information about all of them, their past and present activities as well as their involvement in previous cases; after all, one of these people is a murderer. Every reaction, thought, and deed is meticulously documented, both the important and the mundane.  Even the geography is described in detail. Detective Galileo’s investigation is focused, methodical, and comprehensive; the smallest details are investigated. What people believe to be the truth and what the actual truth is are not necessarily the same thing; perceiving the difference is the key to solving the crime.

“Silent Parade” starts with what seems to be a perfect crime. The every detail of the murder is intricately planned and executed. The perpetrator thought of everything except Detective Galileo. Like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, one after another, he slotted the pieces into place, and they all fit perfectly. I received a review copy of “Silent Parade” from Keigo Higashino, Minotaur Books, and Macmillan Publishing. For those not familiar with the series, a handy reference of the characters and their jobs is included.   Every book in the series is compelling and surprising. Detective Galileo always looks at things from a different point of view.