The Korea Herald


Lawyer-author returns with detective novel

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Jan. 14, 2023 - 16:01

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“Revenge Law Firm” (Golden Bough) “Revenge Law Firm” (Golden Bough)

A former judge and still a lawyer, writer Do Jin-ki has published another detective novel, “Revenge Law Firm.”

The book centers on prosecutor Yoon Hae-seong, who gains public attention by prosecuting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for violating the Act on the Protection of Children and Youth Against Sex Offenses.

But Yoon has something else on his mind: revealing the wrongful death of his father, whose murder 20 years prior was disguised as suicide. Yoon suspects the real murderer is Chairman Yang Da-gon, who became head of the giant corporation Hanul Motors.

With stardom now on his side, Yoon opens a lawyer’s office and hires Jeon Ki-ho as an office manager as well the mysterious woman Bang Soo-hee.

The legal team of Hanul Motors contacts Yoon to recruit him, upon command of Chairman Yang, who is curious about "the talk of the town." Yoon seizes the opportunity to make a move to become Yang’s aide while he begins to suspect similar motivations hidden in Yang’s secretary Han Yi-soo.

The three-volume novel was released by publisher Golden Bough, the fiction imprint of Minumsa Publishing Group, hitting shelves on Dec. 8. It is a compilation of Do’s first web novel series that ran from July 6, 2021 to April 19, 2022 on Naver’s web novel platform.

“It was the summer of 2020 when I first learned that there is something called ‘web novel,’” Do said in the author’s note of the book. “My colleague in the literary scene strongly recommended that I try this new platform.”

Do completed the manuscript for all three books -- about 6,000 pages -- in the fall of 2020, and published the manuscript serially.

The series stayed in the No. 1 spot in the mystery category with a reader rating of 9.9 out of 10 for four consecutive months, according to Golden Bough.

“The law has changed a lot since I first wrote the draft of this piece,” he said.

“There is now a stalking punishment law, and the prosecution’s right to investigate is disposed of. Some parts are edited to fit the current system, but I could not take out the scene of the prosecutor investigating,” he continued.

“But still, economic crimes can be investigated by a prosecutor even under the current law, so it is not totally contradictory.”

Do, 55, graduated Seoul National University and started writing mystery and detective novels while working as a judge. He debuted in 2010 with the novel “Choice,” winning the Mystery Rookie Award from the Korean Mystery Writers Association. He won the grand prize at the Korea Mystery Literature Award for “The Star of Judas” in 2014.

Some of his works have also been translated to French, including “Mental Suicide” and “The Portrait of La Traviata.”

Meanwhile, “Revenge Law Firm” is to be made into a webtoon, according to Golden Bough.