The year 2021 and all men are infertile. No child has been born for 30 odd years and the UK is governed by one council of people - autocratic in the extreme and by a single leader whose decisions seem final. He keeps things running on an even keel, sees to relocation of people when things are not viable for an aging population - think townships being closed up and abandoned because everyone is getting old and there is no one there to enjoy things like schools so things are becoming superfluous. Whole townships have been abandoned this way. Pets and dolls are treated like babies with people actually believing that they are their children now.
There seems to be no anarchy, no unsettled elements around but strangely enough a group seeks an insiders help to reach the leader and amend matters. Told by Theo the brother of the Warden who feels that his life is a failure on its own, but who only seeks to live quietly but is not allowed to do so by the group he befriends or rather the group who befriends him, and then there is the Five Fishes the group who believes that change can come for the better. The story is told by both parties one almost complementing the other.
A surprising ending, a chilling story which can very well come true, how P D James conjures such is beyond me! My first read of her work of this genre - beautifully scripted and keeping you on the edge like her other mystery books!