A novel that created quite a stir among the reading public and became a runaway best seller by shining a light on child abuse. The three main characters are Yuki, Shoichiro, and Ryohei. They first meet at the age of 12 when they are in a residential facility under psychiatric care; they leave the facility the following year after an incident in which they are involved. At the age of 29, they meet again, and a series of murders follow. The story traces what took place among the three before, in 1979, and now, in 1997, with each chapter carefully doling out the truth behind the events. Neglected by his mother and never having even known his father, Shoichiro is both impotent and claustrophobic. Ryohei is turned over to foster parents after his mother and violence-prone father divorce, and is emotionally disturbed. The two boys have already become friends at the facility when Yuki arrives. One stormy night the three slip outside into the woods and share their deepest secrets. Yuki reveals that she had been sexually abused by her father. The two boys plot to push her father off a cliff during an upcoming family hiking trip planned by the facility. When Yusaku does fall to his death, Yuki believes she is responsible while Shoichiro and Ryohei regret that they hadn't killed him themselves. After leaving the facility, the three do not meet again until 17 years later, when Yuki has become a nurse, Shoichiro a lawyer, and Ryohei a detective. Yuki's younger brother Satoshi, also a lawyer, goes to work for Shoichiro's law firm, and begins probing the connections between the three main characters and digging into what actually took place in the past. Memories of the incident and feelings of unfulfilled love eat away at their ties in a brilliantly crafted human drama that examines the bond between parent and child and shines a light on those who persevere in spite of their deep emotional scars.