The story explores the manner in which most people regard themselves as honest and law abiding although there are times and circumstances when they ignore the rules of behaviour or of some moral code. These people justify their actions by ignoring their conscience or making excuses for their behaviour. In extreme cases they give the impression that morality is not an issue in their case.
The novel follows the life of Tom Houseman from his early childhood on the edge of a hard council estate to eminent Professor with a worldwide reputation and great wealth. Through his life he stays loyal to his boyhood friend Derek from the council estate though their paths diverge after junior school. At times he accepts opportunities for advancement presented by his friends and his brother. These enhance both his standing in society and his wealth.
All the time, he ignores and denies the moral and legal implications of taking advantage of these offers. As time passes, more and more he has to face the contradictions in his life.
Will these contradictions mean he finally has to face these hard decisions or will he sail serenely on living, to him, this ordinary life?
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