The Name of the Game Is Kidnap

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The Name of the Game Is Kidnap
Author: Keigo Higashino
Specifications: ISBN  978-4334738853
339 pages
10.6 x 15.0 cm / 4.2 x 6.0 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kobunsha Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2002
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Thirty-something creative whiz Shunsuke Sakuma, who works for an ad agency, is subjected to the greatest humiliation of his career when an event he has been planning for client Nissei Automotive is quashed by Nissei VP Katsutoshi Katsuragi. When he goes to call on Katsuragi at his residence one night to lodge a protest, he arrives just as Katsuragi's 20-year-old daughter Juri is sneaking out over the wall. She tells him she is running away from home because she can no longer stand the abuse she has suffered since she was little, as the misbegotten daughter of an illicit affair. Sakuma and Juri decide they will challenge her father, a self-avowed "master of games," with a game of their own making?a faked kidnapping of Juri. They succeed in extracting a ransom of ?300 million (about US$3 million) from Katsuragi.

Several days later, Sakuma is watching the news when it is reported that Juri has been murdered, and he is astonished to realize that the woman he had "kidnapped" was not Juri at all. Who, then, was she? Soon the imposter reappears, and he learns that she is actually Juri's 17-year-old half-sister, Chiharu, who claims that she inadvertently killed Juri in an argument on the very night Sakuma had first met her. In order to cover up Chiharu's crime, Katsuragi had then deftly taken advantage of the false kidnapping to spread the story that Juri had been kidnapped and killed by her kidnapper. Sakuma has had the tables turned on him in his own game, and he must once again grit his teeth in humiliation.

Even so, Katsuragi's deception remains in danger of unraveling if anyone finds out that it was a false kidnapping, and that's a possibility as long as Sakuma is alive. Sakuma in fact has an ace in the hole?a photo of Chiharu happily making dinner at Sakuma's house during the time she was pretending to be the kidnapped Juri?which proves that she was a co-conspirator with Sakuma. The final victor of the kidnap game is Sakuma. The book was adapted into a film that was released in 2003 (English title: G@me).