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.
Tom Houseman has a boyhood friend called Derek from the council estate and, though their paths diverge after junior school, he stays in contact and loyal to his friend for the rest of his life.
During his life, he accepts opportunities for advancement and earnings presented by his friends and his brother. These enhance both his standing in society and his wealth. All the time, he ignores and denies to himself and other people who might query his motives the moral and legal implications of taking advantage of these offers.
As time passes, he is forced to face the implications of his choices. Will he finally have to face these hard decisions or will he sail serenely on living, to him, this ordinary life?
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