One day in Tokyo in 1974, a black youth with a scruffy appearance mysteriously dies inside a hotel elevator headed for the top floor. He had been stabbed deep in the chest with a knife. A single tear ran down his cheek. Detective Munesue Koichiro of Kojimachi Higashi Police Precinct rushes to the scene and begins to investigate the youth’s death together with Yokowatari Shinsuke from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s First Investigative Division. They start interviewing people on the top floor of the hotel where the youth was headed. On that day, a big reception party had been organized on the top floor by the famous beautician Yasugi Kyoko. The media and invited guests crowded the venue where Kyoko shared the spotlight with her husband Yohei, an influential lawmaker of the Minyuto, and their only son Kyohei, a second-year university student. Kyoko is admired across the country as the ideal wife and mother. The murdered youth is identified as Johnny Hayward from his passport. However, he was not a guest at Kyoko’s party. All that he left behind was a book of a collection of poems and an old straw hat. After that, the two detectives learn about Johnny growing up in a slum in New York, his ability to speak halting Japanese and a final mysterious word “stoha” when he was dying. As the investigation progresses, Kyoko’s name soon emerges.~~ Based on the best-selling Morimura Seiichi novel, the classic murder mystery Proof of the Man (a.k.a. Ningen no Shomei).
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