This hardboiled thriller features a rogue detective who has no qualms about bending the law if it will help rein in the battling yakuza gangs of his city.
The time is 1988, an era when major internecine battles unfolded among the rival yakuza clans of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the place is the fictitious city of Kurehara. Prefectural police officer Shūichi Hioka, 25, is transferred in mid-June to Criminal Investigation Division II at the Kurehara East Police Station, where he is paired with veteran investigator and team leader Shōgo Ōgami, 44. CID II investigates cases involving the yakuza, and Ōgami has received more commendations than any other investigator in the prefecture for the many cases he has solved?though he is notorious for having been reprimanded more than any other officer as well, and insinuations continue to be made that he is rather too cozy with the yakuza. Novice investigator Hioka learns the ins and outs of dealing with the yakuza in the course of doing the bidding of hard-driving Ōgami.
A man named Uesawa, who works for a loan company under the protection of the Kakomura clan, goes missing. Indications soon emerge that he was kidnapped by Kakomura operatives. Then, at the end of June, the case blows wide open when an incident in which a Kakomura member stabs and kills a member of the rival Odani clan leads to each side shooting up the other’s office. This is followed in mid-July by a member of the Odani clan shooting an executive of the Irako syndicate to which the Kakomura clan belongs, leaving the man on the verge of death. It is ultimately determined that the kidnapping and murder of Uesawa was carried out by four rank-and-file members of the Kakomura clan to keep their boss from finding out that they had diverted operational funds for personal use. The police see this as an opportunity to force dissolution of the Kakomura organization, but the Irako syndicate is not about to stand idly by, and it appears the skirmishes with the Odani clan will escalate into all-out war.
In the midst of the turmoil, Ōgami receives 5 million yen from a former member of the Odani clan whom he helped out in the past, and he uses this money together with threats of violence to make the Kakomura soldiers talk, thereby solving Uesawa’s disappearance. Unfortunately, the money that changed hands in the process comes to the attention of police brass and Ōgami is placed on suspension. But even while under suspension, he receives special orders from his superiors to negotiate a peace, and begins shuttling back and forth between the Irako and Odani offices; he finally manages to hammer out an agreement, only to go missing and then turn up dead a week later as a victim of drowning. Having anticipated this as a possible outcome of his efforts, however, he has left something for Hioka with the proprietress of a bar he frequented: 20 million yen in cash that he has managed to skim from the yakuza, and a notebook detailing the scandalous misdeeds of top police officials.
We then learn that Hioka was in fact assigned to Criminal Investigation Division II as a spy for the Internal Affairs Department. His job was to gather information that could be used to force Ōgami to resign, and in exchange he was promised promotion to a plum position. He had entered into this agreement with a by-the-book sense of righteousness, believing that Ōgami’s methods of investigation were outrageous and needed to be stopped. But after some vacillation, he decides to give Internal Affairs the cold shoulder and follow in Ōgami’s footsteps instead.