"Escape from Grievous Faults" by John Fitzgerald (who wrote the non-fiction Bad Hare Days a few years ago) tells the story of a boy who is sent to a grim institution in 1950s Ireland.

The story is told from four viewpoints: Eleven year old Joey McLaughlin, whose new "home" after being convicted of robbing apples is Grievous Faults Industrial School.

There's the monstrous Brother Drack, who rules the institution with an iron fist.

Brother Paul is a humane teacher who opposes severe punishments and ill-treatment.

And Stephen McCarthy, a revolutionary who's having doubts about his quest to re-unite the Six Counties of Northern Ireland with an ultra conservative State. His doubts are reinforced sharply when his sister is sent to a punishment centre for single mothers.

Though written in the style of an adventure/thriller it explores serious issues about a dark and fearful phase of Ireland's history.

The first eight chapters can be read freely on the Amazon page, here: