As the inside flap says:
For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than thirty years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork and information technology are beginning to overshadow St. Oswald's tradition, and Straitley is finally, and reluctantly, contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who-unbeknownst to Straitley and everyone else-holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets. Harboring dark ties to the school's past, this young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy St. Oswald's.The alternating points of view give you a good picture of what both main players are thinking while still keeping many secrets from the reader. I found that I could relate to both in small ways and enjoyed getting to know them. One of the "principles" mentioned in the novel even came to my attention in the real world in dealing with my 12 year old son,(although with him, we weren't talking about murder or trespassing). The story begins:
If there's one thing I've learned in the past fifteen years, it's this: that murder is really no big deal. It's just a boundary, meaningless and arbitrary as all others--a line drawn in the dirtJoanne Harris does a nice job with the cat and mouse motif and if you haven't given her a try, I do recommend her and the appositely named novel.
Like the giant NO TRESPASSERS sign on the drive to St. Oswald's, straddling the air like a sentinel. I was nine years old at the time of our first encounter, and it loomed over me then with the growling menace of a school bully.
NO UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY BEYOND THIS POINT
another child might have been daunted by the command. But in my case curiosity overrode the instinct. By whose order? Why this point and not another? and most importantly, what would happen if I crossed that line?