After falling in love with the genius that was The Devotion of Suspect X, it was pretty clear that I needed to read more of Higashino’s books. A Midsummer’s Equation was an obvious choice, given it was part of the same series.
A Midsummer Equation was more of a classical murder mystery that in the end appeared to be relatively straightforward. Given that only a handful of main characters were presented, the suspect list was on the short side, making it simple to take a stab in the dark as to whom the culprit was. Yet the motive was not obvious in the least, making this an interesting read. Also, there’s something about the characters; Higashino does an amazing job fleshing them out – as a reader, you get a real sense of who they are.
I was amazed at how much I liked Kyohei. Normally I find myself to be frustrated when kids are introduced as part of the plot. However this was far from the case. Kyohei and Yukawa’s interactions were sweet. Their relationship was depicted in a realistic and brilliant way. Most of the time, their conversations were physics heavy and in all honestly for some of them, I was lost. But it was soon evident to the plot why so much focus had been put on physics; in fact, it was rather cleverly done. Yukawa’s small nuggets of philosophical wisdom were always welcome. The end scene with him and Kyohei was definitely a heart felt moment.
The teamwork and professional relationship between Kunsanagi and Utsumi was a delight to read. I loved how both of them came up with ideas, had an equal part to play in the investigation and followed their intuition as detectives
The investigation went at a steady pace, often throwing up more questions than answers initially. The plot was never fast paced as such especially as there were sub plots scattered amidst the mystery. However, the steadiness of the pace seemed to mirror the setting of Hari Cove. There’s no sense of urgency or rush.
It seemed wholly unnecessary to be handed a whole selection of different police officers. It got confusing to keep track of who they were, what information they knew and what department they came from. What was even more unnecessary were the chapters from their point of view – I mean let’s be honest, it was just them being baffled by the whole case.
Moreover, it felt that there was a tad too much information about the undersea mining. And whilst I appreciate that some of these details were essential to the plot, that much level of detail was not. For me, it sunk the story a little especially considering that the sub – plot doesn’t even go anywhere in the end.
Basically, this was an interesting read. It took its time and as infuriating as that was at times, it was definitely worth it. Whilst the sub-plot and the sheer number of people mentioned from the police was unnecessary, everything else was amazing to say the least.
Until next time,