The polished veneer of a boys’ boarding school in Northern England masks a cadre of wickedness. Seniors viciously torment any junior they deem unfit. Jonathan Simon, in his first term at Blackleigh School in 1955, is warned: 1) There are three monsters in his dorm: seniors Flicker, Sleeth, and Tunk; and 2) A code of conduct mandates no snitching.
Simon befriends two other juniors; pixie-faced Ian Gracey; and witty, grossly overweight Arthur Crown. Juniors are required to clean seniors’ studies and Crown panics when he’s assigned to Flicker, who was under suspicion by the police a year earlier after a junior fell from the church bell tower in the off-limits cemetery. During a cross-country run, the three friends take a shortcut and stumble into the cadet rifle range. Corps Sergeant Sleeth puts them through a degrading punishment using human excrement. The three juniors swear a blood oath never to allow another bully to abuse them.
Will this oath be their downfall, or will they make it through the school year? Snitching could have serious consequences, but keeping silent will break their blood oath. As Simon, Gracey and Crown try to survive this perilous journey, the constant threat of harm brings their friendship ever closer…
Michael L. Lewis was born and raised in England. After preparatory school in London, he was educated at Stowe School, Buckingham. Michael says, “My novel takes the reader on a journey through the lives of three dynamic school boys between the ages of 13 and 15, and the extraordinary triumphs and tragedies that they experience.” This book is the first in a series. Michael now lives in Los Angeles, California, has a law degree, and writes full-time. He was on the Board of Trustees for several schools, and has been a member of the same book club for twenty-five years.