A short, sharp lesson in the political verities of our time which you read with your eyes raised and a sense of resigned futility. Hough's small novel takes place in and around an investigation initiated by a state representative (for self-serving reasons) and fired by an angry father into what goes on at a Pennsylvania Juvenile Guidance Center where three of the older boys get too many raps and workouts... ""a bunch of kids with police records as long as the Dead Sea Scrolls"" it will be argued, wrongly. After all Superintendent Danehy is doing his laissez-faire best while one of his supervisors, a vicious homosexual, is only too anxious to provide his own kind of tender loving care. A professor gets a 250,000 dollar grant to instigate a program (most of which he pockets) and an FBI civil rights investigator moseys around and at the end, well, there won't even be a two-car funeral for Ernest Danovic, one of the three youngsters. You can't hold out too much hope for a book like this any more than what you can raise for the boys who've been sent here but there's some real humor to carry you over the rough spots and Mr. Hough is a nice, considerate writer -- he cuffs rather than clouts.