Remote Control is a thriller that, unlike most Japanese thrillers, is set in the city of Sendai, not in Tokyo or Osaka. It depicts the 48-hour-long flight of a young man framed for the assassination of a newly elected prime minister. The politician?a Sendai native who has only been in office for half a year?is killed when a remote-control helicopter explodes a bomb over his motorcade during a homecoming parade. Masaharu Aoyagi, a jobless 30-something who formerly worked as a delivery-truck driver, is immediately identified as the assassin. And so begins an intense manhunt and media frenzy.
Just before the explosion, Aoyagi is sitting in a parked car with college buddy Shingo Morita, who confesses that he is part of an evil plot to frame Aoyagi. In exchange for his participation in it, he tells Aoyagi, his handlers have agreed to eliminate all of his wife's debts. "Run!" he says as the police close in on the vehicle. "Don't end up like Oswald!" As Aoyagi steps out of the car it blows up. Apparently it had been rigged with a bomb.
With mysterious powers of authority pursuing him, Aoyagi runs, determined not to meet Oswald's fate. As he weaves his way through the streets and buildings of Sendai, he must contend with the creepy reality of a surveillance society in the form of countless "security pods" that have been installed throughout the city to record cell-phone transmissions and capture footage of their surroundings. His weapons? Only his own guts and his trust in people. With the help of some unlikely characters, including an ex-girlfriend, a former deliveryman-colleague, and even a serial killer, Aoyagi challenges his adversaries to an ultimate game of catch-me-if-you-can.
Remote Control is entertainment fiction at its finest. It would not be surprising at all to see this novel became the basis for a Hollywood screenplay.