Wally Harbert recently came to my attention with his excellent whistleblowing post about Avon County Council 
I was therefore keen to read his novel Bent Twigs  . The title comes from Alexander Pope quote – ‘Tis education forms the common mind, just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined.
The back cover describes it as “local government with the lid off – you will be relieved it is a novel”. However that is misleading, as Wallys experience as Director of Social Services in Hackney and then Avon, has been put into this novel, and a novel is often the best way of getting the truth across.
It is the only book I have read that gives you the background scenarios and process, by which for instance the whistleblower is sacked and the perpetrator of abuse is not brought to justice, and the abuse continues. Unwieldy council structures, relationships between Councillors and Officers and Unions, political dogma. The book focusses on a girl in care called Paula and has a double twist towards the end, which I will not spoil.
Politicos will recognise the machinations, whilst many will begin to understand how the cover ups continue.
“We see noble motives and intentions brought low by hidden agendas, greed and power games, coupled with buck-passing of a refined order. We get to see how our elected politicians can blithely wipe out government from one committee to another each making amendments until sensible proposals are made unworkable.”
 2014 Nov 9 Cathy Fox. Wally Harbert Child Protection in a Hostile Environment by Wally Harbert https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/child-protection-in-a-hostile-environment-by-wally-harbert/
 Bent Twigs 2005 by Wally Harbert ISBN 1-904986-15-3
 Cathy Fox Books on Child Abuse https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/books-on-child-abuse-2/
 Cathy Fox Category “Books on Child Abuse 2” https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/category/books-about-child-abuse/