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Pro Bono Novel

When Kiriko Yanagida first came to Ginzo Otsuka's law offices, she had only a familial conviction of her brother's innocence despite his confessing to the murder. To the high-profile (and high-priced) lawyer, this small-town girl's belief was nothing more than naive hope, so he sent her away, advising her to find a local lawyer or something.

The next day, young news reporter Tetsuro Abe overhears Kiriko making a last ditch attempt to enlist the lawyer through a pay phone. He immediately becomes consumed with helping her, not least because it will make an interesting story: woman fights to save her innocent brother from death row However she refuses to cooperate with him, and won't even talk to him for more than five minutes.

Several months later, Otsuka comes to his desk to discover a postcard from Kiriko Yanagida informing him of her brother's death by hanging. Otsuka's guilty conscience is stoked when he remembers who she is. It is only then that he is incited to research the case.

Meanwhile, Kiriko is back in Tokyo, scraping to get by as a hostess in a night club. One night she happens to serve the journalist Abe. He has not forgotten her brother's story, and is determined to prove her brother's innocence, even if she's given up.

These three individuals are about to become inextricably connected to the murder trial against Masao Yanagida, a man whose punishment as already been meted; a man who is already dead. Together, they are working Pro Bono.

Written by Seicho Matsumoto.


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