Sunday, 23 October 2016
It is set ten years prior to the introduction of the Children Act of 1989.
That act brought about radical and far reaching changes to a legal framework that had not changed in many decades and which struggled to be relevant in the modern world.
Newly qualified solicitor Robert Fordham has made the move from rural Somerset to the London Borough of Haringey.
He starts working on some fairly tough and stressful child removal court cases and also on the perhaps equally stressful task of finding himself a woman to share his new life with.
The author has based the novel on his own experiences as a solicitor working for the London Borough of Haringey during the time in which this novel is set.
He explains: "In those days, child protection law was a mess. On the one hand, when strictly applied, the rules deciding what evidence be given in the juvenile court to support the making of a care order were absurdly restrictive.
"But on the other hand," he continued: " the rights of both parents and children to be represented were inadequate. Results all too often resembled lotteries. But whilst it is true that the legal framework today is much safer, social work time has become obsessed with computer record keeping and impossibly restricted."
The novel explores the social life of Robert Fordham and also the professional life which saw Labour council members refusing to implement budget cuts demanded by the newly elected Conservative government and what happens when he comes face-to-face with the magistrate's bench in Haringey, a bench lead by a strong-willed female magistrates.
The book is published by Matador at £8.99.