`On the night of Friday, April 22nd 2005 three residents were murdered at the Elmview Nursing Home in the Cambridgeshire village of Kellingham. Iris Crawford, aged 88, Wally Green, aged 73, and Margaret Kelso-Brown, aged 82, died in their beds, their throats cut. I was expecting a death in Kellingham, but not for another week. And one death, not three.'
The Cull is a crime novel set in a research establishment devoted to prolonging life. In 25 years' time there will be two people of working age for every pensioner. Biomedical advances, especially in stem cell research, will lead to a dramatic increase in life expectancy. The social consequences of these demographic changes are momentous, with the potential for major conflict between the generations.
In May 2003, Linda Kelso-Brown is found dead at the Institute for Successful Ageing (IFSA). In 2004, on the anniversary of her death, Professor Ravi Choudhuri is found hanged. The coroner's verdict is homicide-suicide, but a note suggesting otherwise arrives. IFSA finds itself in the spotlight again when three residents at Elmview, a residential nursing home with links to its anti-ageing drug trials, are murdered.
With an accurate account of the science of ageing and the pharmacology of anti-ageing drugs, The Cull is a thrilling read that examines inter-generational conflict and the consequences of a longer life span