An author known for financial industry novels set in mega-banks, Jun Ikeido here treats readers to a collection of linked short stories in that signature vein. Shuhei Ibusuki is in charge of special assignments in the Administrative Department of Teito Bank. His primary responsibility is to resolve incidents involving employee misconduct; this volume addresses eight cases requiring his team's attention.
Roei (Leak) opens with the news that Teito Bank's client list has been leaked, and tells the story of a trap that ensnared one of the bank's elite-track employees. Renga no you (Like a Brick) relates the tragic tale of an ordinary rank-and-file banker who sacrifices himself for the sake of the bank when the bankruptcy of a construction company leads to revelations of bribes. In Kanno ginko (Carnal Bank), a scandal involving a female employee who appears in a porn video shines light on the bank's scandalous treatment of non-career female employees as disposable objects. Hai no kazu dake (As Many as There Are Ashes) offers up an edge-of-the seat thriller about the kidnapping of a branch manager's wife, in which new career-track hire Rei Karaki distinguishes herself on Ibusuki's team. In Sutoka (Stalker), an incident in which a female employee becomes victim of a stalker reveals evidence of bidding irregularities behind a public works project. Tokumei tai tokumei (Special Assignment vs. Special Assignment) tells of longstanding friction between Ibusuki's team and the Personnel Department, which culminates in the latter attempting to oust Ibusuki by accusing him of negligence in his handling of a major loss for the bank. In Chien ringi (Delayed Consensus), a branch manager is stabbed on the street at night, and an investigation of a company that went bankrupt during his tenure uncovers problems with the bank's personnel policies. The final story, Pei-ofu no wana (The Payoff Trap), is told from Karaki's point of view as it delves into the psychological darkness of a young banker who robbed a lonely old woman of her assets while feigning kindness.
In each case, the author keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace. It is exhilarating to watch Ibusuki and his team in action, undaunted by the bewildering tangle of conflicting interests they encounter within their massive organization, and refusing to shirk from whatever the facts may reveal.