Every leap year on February 29, the forgotten mistake and the woman revisit the man, and together they close in on him.
- Book Intro
(English) Leap Year
Tragedy is nothing but a result of desperation.
Suhyun lived with his mother who was seriously ill. He barely made ends meet by illegally driving a taxi. On February 29 of 2004, he happened to meet a woman whose username was Hyunchae on a poker website. They arranged an in-person meeting, and Hyunchae appeared at the meeting place with pistols. In the spur of the moment, they stole a car and drove to an underground parking lot of a bank, where they robbed 300 million won from a cash transportation truck. They shot and killed a bank employee in the course.
The accomplice who demands money every four years
As they parted ways, Hyunchae said that she would meet him again on next February 29, but Suhyun did not pay attention to her words. With the money from the bank robbery, Suhyun started a successful business and the bank robbery case remained unsolved.
On February 29, 2008, Suhyun happened to pass by the place where he had met Hyunchae and came across her who had been waiting for him all day. Hyunchae was carrying a gun and demanded money from Suhyun.
On February 29, 2012, Suhyun again met Hyunchae on Jayu-ro. She demanded more money, but he refused. Several days later, there was a car accident on Jayu-ro that involved a man’s death.
That tragedy might not be a coincidence
After that, Suhyun never went to meet Hyunchae on February 29. Instead, having a hunch that she was fixing her eyes on him, he hired a detective agent to investigate her. The investigation revealed that Hyunchae was a victim of a horrible crime of illegal sex filming. The man who died on Jayu-ro was the one in the film, and Suhyun came to learn that he was deeply involved with the crime. People who were involved with the film were dying one after another.
Suhyun desperately searched for Hyunchae in vain.
What she wanted. . .
On February 29, 2020, reappearing in front of Suhyun, Hyunchae points a gun at his head. Suhyun manages to overpower her then puts her into a car trunk, sinking the car into a lake.
Several days later, however, someone tips off the police about the sunk(en) car. When they open the trunk, someone else but Hyunchae is found dead. The dead body turns out to be another assailant of the sex crime involving Hyunchae.
Suhyun recognizes the dead body as the one he and Mubae committed to the waves a few years ago and gets confused. Because of this incident, Mubae gets Suhyun wrong and attempts to kill him in the end. At the critical moment, the police is called in to save Suhyun based on a tip-off from somebody, but they arrest Suhyun as the culprit of the bank robbery and murder case of 2004.
On February 29, 2024. Hyunchae visits Suhyun in jail. Suhyun retrospects upon the past, looking at her, and thinks that he may have fired his gun in spite of himself.
- About the Author
(English) Song Kyuounghyuk made his writer’s debut as he won the annual spring literary contest of the Gyeongsang-Ilbo with his short story “Magpie.” Song wrote many short stories in various collections and literary magazines, including the “Laundry” in Smart Novel vol. 1, the “Front Teeth” in New Writers in 2021, and the “Return” in the fall issue of 2021 of Writer & Society. Writing unique and characteristic stories, he is known as a stylist writer. The Leap Year is his first novel, where he adeptly employs the characteristics of the authentic hard-boiled novel: the dry atmosphere and breathtaking suspense.