In the era of "the big squeeze" - when an environmentally ravaged Earth groans beneath the weight of twelve billion people - two men control the destiny of humankind. One was recently senile...the other is going insane.
In the year 2069, with the Earth's population dangerously out of control, procreation and the medical treatment of terminal illness are the two most heinous crimes against society. But behind the doors of the top secret Biophysical Institute, an old man has been illegally cured of the ravages of Alzheimer's disease and made artificially younger - to serve the unspecified purposes of Premier Jeremy Beltane, one of the world's most powerful leaders.
A member of the underprivileged "Wardie" class, Detective Sergeant Harry Ostrov has been assigned to serve as a guardian to the mysteriously rejuvenated nonagenarian - and entrusted with a devastating secret that could topple the unstable "Minder" government. But once within the confines of the Beltane family enclave, the dedicated police officer is dragged deeper and deeper into a lethal mire of scandal, corruption, political outrage, and moral dilemma - sworn to silence even as he observes his nation's ruler, a man ultimately responsible for the future of civilization, descend steadily into depression, uncertainty . . . and madness.
George Turner (1916-1997) George Reginald Turner was an Australian writer and critic, best known for the science fiction novels written in the later part of his career. His mainstream novel, The Cupboard Under the Stairs won the Miles Franklin Award, Australia's highest literary honour. His best-known SF novel, The Drowning Towers, was published in the UK under the title The Sea and Summer, and won the second Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1988. George Turner was named as a Guest of Honour for the 1999 World Science Fiction Convention held in his home town of Melbourne, but died before the event.