Another entry in Stableford's developing future history (The Fountains of Youth, 2000, etc.) exploring the possibilities of "emortality": what if humans, barring accident, could live for as long as they wanted? Forty years from now, in England, forensic scientist Lisa Friemann awakes to find armed intruders in her apartment, rifling her computer records; they assume (wrongly) that Lisa knows what they're looking for and why. Simultaneously, co-conspirators firebomb the famous and long-running experiment in rodent population dynamics, Mouseworld, set up by Lisa's boss, Morgan Miller—and abduct Miller himself. Before leaving, the intruders scrawl "Traitor" on Lisa's door. Clearly, Miller knows a big secret (concerning longevity research) but has kept it so quiet that he's never even told Lisa. Soon, Ministry of Defense investigator Peter Grimmett Smith co-opts Lisa onto the case. The conspiracy, larger than at first seemed possible, has its roots in various militant feminist movements of years past. Why, however, would Real Women and suchlike concern themselves with destroying colonies of mice? And what is it that Miller has known for more than 40 years, but hasn't told anyone else?
Here, Stableford sidesteps his usual difficulties, relegating the exposition that too often congeals his work to stand-alone flashback chapters, while the narrative advances smoothly as a straightforward police procedural. The upshot, still strong on ideas and puzzles, should please and satisfy nearly everyone.