The year is 2022, and the world is overpopulated to the point of disaster. In New York City, population 40,000,000, Thorn works as a detective. He is given the case of a murdered politician to investigate; it looks as if the wealthy man has been attacked by an intruder to his exclusive apartment, but Thorn is suspicious about the way his bodyguard had been sent out and the security system had failed for the first time in two years. Could it have been an assassination? And could it be something to do with what the politician was threatening to reveal about the world's main producer of synthetic food, the Soylent Corporation?