When I started this book I fully expected that I would give it at least four stars. Harry Harrison is one of the old-time science fiction writers who have given me so much enjoyment through the years and I may have even read this one in the distant past, but if I did I don't quite remember. I could not quite bring myself to give it so many stars though. I think the story may have worked better back in 1966 when it was first published, but even then the author set it in the too near future. It is set in the future of 1999 and is a warning against overpopulation combined with a crime story. I don't quite call it a murder mystery because we know all along who committed the murder, but it does follow the cop who investigates the murder that is central to the plot. One problem with the story is that it is not quite written as a science fiction novel. It is written more like a contemporary novel of the mid 1960s with the consequences of the overpopulation thrown in. Reading it in 2011 I know that 1999 was not like that at all and the technically science fiction character of it is kind of lost on me. Okay, then why not just view it as an alternate history story? Frankly, somehow the world of the 1960s just does not quite seem to be one that could lead to this kind of situation. I don't want to give the book less than three stars either because it is actually an entertaining story and not badly written. It does not even carry the pulpish tone that still characterized much of science fiction at the time it was written. Obviously I have mixed feelings about this book, so I give it three stars. I just think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had been reading it in the mid 1960s rather than in 2011.