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Pro Bono

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  82 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
When Kiriko Yanagida first came to 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 Otsuka, 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. Now, Kiriko plots to avenge ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Vertical (first published 1961)
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Aug 23, 2012 David rated it really liked it
My first Seicho Matsumoto novel was Points and Lines (1958), the whodunit that made him famously popular in Japan. That mystery hinged on a detailed analysis of train timetables, a subject that Japanese readers love but that many American readers find tedious. Perhaps more to American taste—and certainly more to the taste of noir fans—will be Matsumoto’s Pro Bono (1961), which has just appeared in English for the first time. Kiriko Yanagida, a young woman from Kyushu, travels to Tokyo to solicit ...more
The book falls somewhere between 2.5 to 3 stars, I'm slightly disappointed by it.

Pro Bono (Flag of Mist is the original Japanese title) tells a story of crime and revenge: a strong-willed young woman comes all the way to Tokyo to find a famed lawyer who she believes can clean her brother's name of murdering an old woman, but after the lawyer refuses to help and her brother ends up dying in prison, the young woman decides to seek revenge.

I'm impressed by the young woman's plan for revenge, her sc
Jul 17, 2012 Serdar rated it really liked it
Splendid Hitchcock-esque thriller that starts as a justice-lost story and turns into a revenge noir.
Oct 02, 2012 Angie rated it liked it
I enjoyed the novel, but felt like I was watching a current crime tv show, the kind that recaps everything for you after every commercial break?
Aug 14, 2013 Ben rated it it was ok
This is either a 2 or a 3. I found the book to be very redundant. We're told the facts of a murder 3 separate times with very little difference in the way the facts are presented. The same thing happens with another murder later on. One roughly 30 page chapter was devoted to a lawyer reading the case file learning what we as the reader already knew word for word. I don't think an oversimplification just stating the lawyer read the file would've been the right way. But essentially copy/pasting a ...more
Gerald Kinro
Jul 29, 2012 Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it
Pretty twenty-year-old Kiriko Yanagida comes to Tokyo from Kyushu to seek the aid of Otsuka, a famed lawyer. She feels Otsuka is the only one who can exonerate her brother whom she feels was wrongly accused of a murder. He sends her away. Then with an adeptly inserted twist of plot, this becomes a story of revenge.

I liked the story. It is well plotted and easy to follow. It starts slow but still retained my interest. Most of all, I enjoyed seeing a lawyer getting the shaft.
Mar 24, 2013 Sae-chan rated it really liked it
Shelves: japanese-writers
As a murder-mystery book, I had hard times to believe in plot. As a social-critic literature, I think this is a superb book. I kept guessing where it was going, and the abrupt end was like being shocked by an electric eel while swimming in the pool (not like I had the experience). Worth reading.
G Lee
Mar 27, 2013 G Lee rated it liked it
Ultra fast read----short on mystery; more or a revenge tale---original mystery remains unsolved; hot mess!
Tom Ratzloff
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Ann Repetto
Nov 10, 2014 Ann Repetto rated it liked it
Shelves: matsumoto
Oddly there was a bunch of repetition. Interesting story though not difficult to figure out.
Tanya Behagen
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Jul 18, 2012
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May 01, 2013
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Seicho Matsumoto (松本 清張, Matsumoto Seichō), December 21, 1909 – August 4, 1992) was a Japanese writer.

Matsumoto's works created a new tradition of Japanese crime fiction. Dispensing with formulaic plot devices such as puzzles, Matsumoto incorporated elements of human psychology and ordinary life into his crime fiction. In particular, his works often reflect a wider social context and postwar nihil
More about Seicho Matsumoto...

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