WORK OF DARKNESS by Jack Karney

WORK OF DARKNESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From a depressed area- New York's lower East side- a depressing dossier on Lenny ""Doc"" Kramer, Joe Kusack and Juan Rivera- the Spik, which explains- even if it does not excuse- and footnotes the headlines on youthful crime. Lenny, Joe and Juan are to learn their first lesson in rejection at home- and on the streets- and the need to belong will bring them to the clubhouse of the Panthers- run by Frankie. Lenny's father, an orthodox Jew, has used the strap throught the years, then throws him out and says Kaddish for his ""dead son""; Joe, known as a dumb Polack, loses his father to drink, his mother in a tenement fire; Juan, newly arrived from Puerto Rico, hears only the taunts of ""dirty Spik"" and his girl is raped- by the Panthers. Juan, introduced to heroin, goes through the increasingly intense agony of addiction; Joe, beaten up by a mobster, spends two months in a hospital, comes out of it to find that Frankie has taken over his girl; the three of them- turned out of the Panthers- have only hatred left; Frankie's death achieved they face theirs at the hands of the police...An unadulterated vernacular and an unsparing record.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1955
Publisher: Putnam