Jo Sasaki's 2007 novel is the first in the so-called "The Hokkaido Trilogy" and was inspired by corruption in the police force governing Japan's northern island. Set in the capital, Sapporo, the pic begins with the discovery of a strangled policewoman's body in an apartment used by the force's big brass. Senior officials keep the investigation under wraps and, in short order, the dead cop's ex-lover, Sgt. Suguru Tsukui (Hiroyuki Miyasako) - due to give damning evidence in a corruption hearing in 18 hours' time - is declared the perp. Police are ordered to shoot him on sight. Disturbed by the hasty manner in which his squad was pushed off the case, Tsukui's former police partner, smooth saxophonist Sgt. Koichi Saeki (Nao Omori), summons his team to discuss an alternative plan to the sanctioned witch hunt. Written by
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