MOTHER'S DAY by J. M. Ryan


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This flivver ride of a novel, based on the noxious activities of the notorious Ma Barker gang of the Thirties, has parts that interchange exactly with Bonnie and Clyde, and follows cinema-hypnotically the rinkydink course of monstrous bandits on a blood kick. Ma Barker was a Bible-speakin', sanctimonious horror from the Ozarks who never stood for liquor and wimmin, beamed with pride at the macabre peccadilloes of her beloved son Freddie, and watched the murder of her dandy lover with joy in her heart at the just deserts of a traitor. The novel follows the fortunes of the Fun House freaks--Ma with her greasy chicken and her teddy bear and her fondness for bathing ""fine looking"" men; Freddie, the machinegun ace who used brass knuckles on an erotic playmate Ma had slyly framed; Alvin Karpin, the most efficient operator, who arrived with a ""cherry orchard of acne"" from the pen; contact man Sawyer and a clutch of minor hoods and specialists. The gunfire trail leads eventually to a shootout in a residential Florida community amid movie-bound asides like that of a bug-eyed neighbor: ""There goes property values, by God!"" A sanguinary frolic.0

Pub Date: May 8th, 1969
Publisher: Prentice-Hall