A.K.A Yōgisha Ekkusu no Kenshin

This is by far the most gripping thriller I have read in the last couple of years. Two sittings is what it too me go through it. Thanks to Shruti I got introduced to the works of Japanese writer Keigo Higashino. The Devotion of Suspect X is the third in his detective series and supposed to be the most popular. What I really liked about the novel was that it was a translation and had short and simple sentences but yet every paragraph a page turned. No big words that would send you rushing for dictionary.

I will not spoil the story for you but I must share that the devotion of Suspect X has this bizarre combination of mathematics and murder. The most intriguing was what the author describes as P=NP problem. Simply put the problem poses this question- Is it more difficult to find solution to a problem or to find out if someone else solution to the same problem is correct or not. I don’t know what the real answer is but the question sounds very philosophical.

The other thing I learned from the novel was that you only need 4 colors to color a map to ensure that same colors are never to adjacent to each other. Mathematicians can usually prove this without coloring but then that requires a completely different devotion.

So go ahead and grab your copy.

trivia :The devotion of Suspect X was made into a 2008 Japanese film *Suspect X*. Some Indian film producer is also planning to make a movie on the same.

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Nice to see science up in entertainment again. 🙂 I just wish it was one of the others.

P=NP is the number one problem in theoretical computer science. Most people fully expect that the answer is negative i.e. that P is not equal to NP. But it still remains to be proved. And the implications of a proof are huge – and very real. It’s a big deal if finding a solution to a problem is as easy as testing one. For one thing, all modern cryptographic systems would be in a very susceptible state then. And our entire modern communication and digital finance infrastructure is built on that. If anyone ever discovers a proof mechanism, they’ll be in a very interesting position indeed. Besides being lionised, they’ll also be hounded.

The other two famous ones are the Reimann Hypothesis in pure mathematics (which deals with the pattern of appearance of the prime numbers which are the basis of the entire number system – and which also play a big role in cryptographic security) and the Grand Unified Theory of physics (which unites relativity with quantum mechanics – the two great theories of modern physics, which steadfastly refuse to work together).

These are well-known. But, unfortunately, little attention is given to the many other unsolved puzzles in these fields. Ah well….thanks for the book review. 🙂