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ALLAN PRIOR
The Operators


click to enlarge

Pan, London, 1966
(price: 5/-; 288 pages)


The blurb on the back:

There were three of them
Mo, the tough professional criminal, just out from one of many long stretches 'inside'
Tracey, an army officer's beautiful, weak daughter, degraded by men and drugs... and more men
Nevil, the handsome, lazy charmer, who has been living on a succession of rich and ageing women
Each of them wanted a way out ó and the plan Mo had made in jail seemed to offer the riches that would help them ...
'Vivid underworld atmosphere' -
The Evening News
'From first page to last - an excellent novel' -
Books And Bookmen
'Moves relentlessly to its violent conclusion' -
The Northern Echo


opening lines:
Tracey Leigh-Dunn said the word again: whore. It sounded as bad as ever.


Thereís this old lag, see, proper East End villain, who finds out about a perfect heist while in jail, and he recruits a couple of straight but desperate accomplices when he gets out. Oneís a fading gigolo, the other a prostitute, both are decent middle-class stock and therefore the perfect front for the blag.

And itís alright, you know, but about a hundred pages too long. There are entire sub-plots that could be dropped without anyone shedding a tear, and with a bit of tightening of the rest, itíd be a neat enough little caper with just enough grit for the period. Maybe Mr Prior just got bored with writing for TV and fancied spreading his wings a little.

Functional, workmanlike, well-crafted, a bit dull.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
3/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


from the maker of:
eye eye
One Eyed Monster
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