The Kingdom
Author: Fuminori Nakamura
Specifications: ISBN  978-4309020693
177 pages
13.6 x 19.2 cm / 5.4 x 7.7 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers
Tokyo, 2011
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In this sequel to his highly acclaimed The Thief of 2009 (English translation, 2012), the author weaves a captivating tale of suspense, populated with high-class call girls and assassins and rife with political intrigue. Alive and well is Kizaki?the mysterious figure who asserted almost god-like control over the thief's fate in the earlier work?this time holding the life of the female narrator, Yurika Kashima, at his mercy. Without ever actually sleeping with them, Yurika entices politicians and television celebrities into compromising positions in which they can be photographed or filmed for blackmail by the group she secretly works for. She originally became involved in this racket when she needed money to pay for much-needed medical treatments for Shota, the orphaned son of her late friend Eri, and she has long worked under the wing of a man named Yaguchi, who deals in political information behind the scenes. But a year has now passed since Shota died, and Yurika has lost her way in life. One day she seduces a high-level bureaucrat and takes pictures of him in her usual manner, only to learn that her instructions had come not from Yaguchi but from someone who has hijacked his email account. That someone turns out to be Kizaki, who has been keeping an eye on Yurika from the time she was living in a home for orphaned and neglected children. Yaguchi wants her to meet Kizaki in order to steal information from him, but to protect herself, she decides to act as a double agent and feed both Yaguchi and Kizaki with false information. She obtains a forged passport with the intention of fleeing the country, but then . . .