Four Women (Beacon, 1960)

A very fine one from ol’ Orrie, so much so that it read like the pilot episode of a TV show.

It is a multi-character piece, mainly centering on two men, Joe and Rube. Joe is a big handsome lug who wants to live an honest life but gets sucked into the syndicate world on Prince Street in New City…Prince Street is where all the prostitution, drug pushing and small time crime goes on. Rube is a guy with short man’s complex, hating big guys like Joe and the girls who like him. Rube has been pimping out Millie and robs other hookers at knifepoint. The local syndicate guy, Mike, wants Joe to find the guy robbing his ladies.

Then there is Ellie, who loves Joe, who won’t give Rube the time of day, who dodges the advances of the lesbian lady she works for at a dress shop, turning down Mike to be his main lady andgetting kidnapped for it.

Things wrap up too fast and easy but this is still a damn good vintage read. On the Hitt scale: 9.

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