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Making a Killing by William M. Johnson
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Making a Killing

by William M. Johnson

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the end of the world, but were always too afraid to ask…

When a distinguished panel of Nobel laureates issues a scientific report giving the human race just 5 years to save the Earth and avert a catastrophic breakdown in the planet’s ‘life-support systems’, the upcoming Earth Summit in the small Caribbean nation of San Pimente takes on monumental significance. High on the agenda is a radical plan to give all species and virtually every natural resource under the sun an economic value. The Dodo Foundation, the premier name in conservation, plans to promote its Aguarico Rainforest Parrot Preserve as a shining example of Sustainable Exploitation in Action, known to some as ‘having your cake and eating it too’, and to others as ‘business as usual’. Unfortunately, loggers, gold-prospectors and Indian missionaries are also amongst its faithful adherents, not to mention Chicken Shack International Incorporated, one of the DDF’s own corporate benefactors.

When the DDF’s parrot man in San Pimente, Dr Ernest Walters, his two-man crew, and an abbey of nuns are all murdered by a death squad, the trail leads inexorably to the highest echelons of the U.S. government and CIA covert operations. The burgeoning scandal threatens to topple heads internationally, and bring the Earth Summit edifice crashing to its foundations. The result is a desperate scramble to locate the sole surviving witness to the atrocity, and also the last words of Dr Walters, an incriminating note currently winging its way to some unidentified location by carrier pigeon. All in all, a daunting prospect indeed for the barely-functional President of the U.S. who is facing an election year; for the Duke who is convinced that wildlife can only be saved by shooting it; for the Pope who is anguishing over the scientists’ doomsday predictions and wondering whether the looming Apocalypse will also herald the Second Coming; for the former dictator of San Pimente who is plotting a comeback; for Earth Summit Convenor Sir Hannibal Balding, who is juggling with Murphy’s Law and haunted by the prospect of embarrassing mass graves being unearthed; for the direct-action conservation group which is planning a spectacular, non-violent assault on the Presidential Palace.
With heads of state, royalty, and other assorted glitterati descending upon the unfortunate country, as well as a massive media contingent – all promising to make San Pimente an ecological disaster area – the glowing public promises of meaningful action to save the planet are rapidly swept aside. The name of the game is now damage control. At the same time, a tribe of wild animals, hearing of this ‘Summit of the Earth’ that they were never invited to, embark on their long pilgrimage to San Pimente to make their views known to the human race.

Can our unlikely hero, Dr Daniel Henstein, U.N. scientist extraordinaire, save the day? Dependable, anxious to please, infernally boring, the prospect seems dubious indeed until a particle of interstellar inspiration from a passing comet crash-lands in his mind, sparking wild Jekyll and Hyde character-swings.

The story moves inexorably towards its High Noon show-down…

An End of the World Black Comedy, ‘the deepest shade of noir…’ — BBC Wildlife

‘A mind-blowing and witty exposé… A no-holds barred, no mercy account of the conservation mercenaries’ (Have Bad News – Will Travel – First Class) successful efforts to get a rich living from a dying planet…’ — Ian MacPhail, a founder of World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

‘[A] highly original, often unexpectedly witty but frightening tale of man’s destruction of the Earth and his seeming indifference to the fate of all creatures but his own… This sharp, brilliantly observed book deserves a wide audience.’ — Virginia McKenna ( )
  IridescentPublishing | Apr 23, 2013 |
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