THE OPERATORS by Allan Prior

THE OPERATORS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The man named Mo is the real operator, the organizer, the brain trust, member of ""The Fraternity"" of criminals who were ""born to it,"" who knew ""it was a war."" The two he taps to help him carry out his big scheme are mere ""mugs""--Outsiders. There's Nevil Barclay, ""American turned English in thought, word and deed,"" a man' whose taste for luxury has led him to play the prostitute to accommodating older women. And there's Tracey, a pitiable fallen angel with a goddess' body who has tottered on the brink of self-destructive whoredom. The duo had almost reached the skids when Mo propositioned them. Mo, a kind of sensitive amoralist, has his own problems; there's his appalling lush of a wife Emmy and his one love, daughter Jan. He has returned from prison to find Jan turned sixteen-year-old slut, already destined to become a member of ""The Fraternity."" In fact it's Jan and her blackmail who turns out to be the biggest operator of all. Prior probes the underworld psyche with switchblade dexterity as we watch the weak and the greedy in perverse alignment. Good.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1967
Publisher: Simon & Schuster