The Killer App: Would You Die to Be Young Again
john writher, author
The Killer App is set in a future generation where Britain is crippled by an ageing population, and the associated spiralling costs of pension, health and social care. The new Prime Minister, Robert Hand, pledged to strip-search the country’s finances, as well as funding research and innovation, to remedy the situation. He teams up with Bill Haugan, a ruthless American businessman with a penchant for pushing the boundaries, and Janet Icks, a hard-working genetic scientist wedded to her laboratory. On top of the snow-covered pistes around Davos, Switzerland, the unlikely trio hatch a killer experiment designed to revolutionise society. They all have their own personal interests in the proposal – Hand wants the public vote for solving the demographic imbalance, Icks is keen to test her research to transfer DNA after death, while Haugan has designs on expanding his empire – yet the worlds of politics, big business and science become uncomfortable bedfellows in a bid to rebalance the population. All they need is someone willing to “die to be young again”. Experiment Candidate 1456 is a frustrated artist in his late thirties, depressed at what his life has become after a failed marriage. Convinced he can do better, he is thrilled to be selected for this trial regeneration and sees the proposal as an opportunity to drop off the grid and start over. Little does he know what lies ahead… Just as the experiment starts, ethical opponents sabotage proceedings and violently shatter the lives of those involved, while events unravelling from the protest leave many secrets exposed.
In the near future, British Prime Minister Robert Hand is facing a crisis: the U.K.'s economy is in trouble because of the rising number of aging pensioners and the soaring cost of entitlement programs. But businessman Bill Haugan has a plan. A brilliant geneticist named Janet Icks has discovered a way of transferring a person's DNA—along with all the person's memories—into a newborn baby's body. Haugan proposes that Britain use this procedure to restructure the age of its population. This fast-paced techno-thriller address issues like overpopulation, the morality of scientific progress, and individual agency—and sets them against humanity's ever-present fear of mortality. And while the concept may be better than the execution and Haugan a cartoonish villain, Writher's novel is a compelling, chilling page-turner.