Set in a private school a little in the past – at a time of turbulence following the death of the old headmaster – a sinister thread runs through the attempts to take the school forward, where issues of child protection risk being buried in the protection of profits.
Now that we know how widespread the failure to protect the vulnerable has been in schools and institutions, 'how could it have happened?' is the constant question. This novel explores that.
Set in a private school a little in the past - at a time of turbulence following the death of the old headmaster - a sinister thread runs through the attempts to take the school forward, where issues of child protection risk being buried in the protection of profits. In this school examination, with few sources of light amidst the dark shadows, there is a slow reveal of events as the story unfolds. The outcome is uncertain – will things be swept under the carpet or will the rottenness at the heart of this particular academic establishment be exposed?
Very close to crime fiction but not quite, this novel is written almost like a reconstruction of events. Characters’ names are in effect redacted, with the resulting use of job titles serving in some cases to emphasise how individuals can hide behind their positions of authority and in other cases how victims can lose their precious personalities.
Neil Thomas has written Keeping the Lid On to demonstrate how (before such matters were as much in the public arena as they now are) the desire for cover-ups in respected institutions could hide a multitude of sins. He is the author of many non-fiction works and also All Through the Night – A Welsh Western set in the 1790s, showing how cowboys originated in Wales and not Wyoming!