THE MANIPULATOR by Lennox Cook

THE MANIPULATOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The familiar--but ever-potent--tale of an evil servant gaining control of the helpless master, here awash, like Pinter's The Servant, in erotic undercurrents. Frail, rotund, but spry-minded Mr. Trumper has reluctantly acknowledged his physical deterioration, taking on a housekeeper for his Dorset house-and-gardens: serene and high-toned Mrs. Helen Breen, who is in reality neither serene nor high-toned nor even a Mrs. She's a scheming climber intent on inheriting Mr. T.'s estate, and she's quite ready to trick Mr. T.'s loyal, pathetic charwoman into an unwanted retirement; to feed Mr. T. drugs that keep him docile; and to install her teenage object of lesbian desire as upstairs maid. Mr. T., however, has already installed his teenage object of (unfulfilled) desire as gardener-and the two beautiful, semi-innocent young people naturally merge and eventually help Mr. T. in fending off the horrible Mrs. Breen's increasing malevolence. A nicely non-sensational, non-graphic treatment (""The caressing hand moved toward its Mecca""), with pepperings of Mr. T.'s erudite thought processes contributing to the tastefully sordid, lightly creepy mood.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan