A young writer is assigned a difficult task by his editor: he is to write an investigative biography of a death row inmate named Yudai Kiharazaka, a 35-year-old photographer who has been convicted of the murders of two women. Kiharazaka’s victims—or his “models”—had been burned alive while the photographer tried to capture the perfect picture of their essences. But trying to unearth the truth about Kiharazaka forces the writer to grapple with horrifying archival material and to interview dangerous, grotesque people—not least of all Kiharazaka himself.
In Fumihiro Kuki’s wealthy family, it’s tradition that a patriarch, when reaching the end of his life, will beget one last child to dedicate to causing misery in a world that cannot be controlled or saved. Eleven-year-old Fumihiro will be specially educated to learn to create as much destruction and unhappiness in the world around him as a single person can. But as his education progresses, he begins to question his father's mandate.
He has no family, no friends, no connections. But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man he tied up was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery.