Operator 5 #6: Master of Broken Men

Chaos, confusion, disintegration fall with swift, breath-taking disaster upon America! Already terrorized by a tottering, unstable world, American men and women are swept into a mad stampede when the great leaders of the nation are spirited away, one by one, to return broken men, useless, inept. Here Jimmy Christopher—Operator 5—sets forth on his most thrilling and dangerous exploit while the great brains of America surrender to madness and despair; as a leaderless people seethe in revolt against a government which is crumbling before their eyes. How can Operator 5, single-handed, hope to prevail against that dread Master of Broken Men?

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Chaos, confusion, disintegration fall with swift, breath-taking disaster upon America! Already terrorized by a tottering, unstable world, American men and women are swept into a mad stampede when the great leaders of the nation are spirited away, one by one, to return broken men, useless, inept. Here Jimmy Christopher—Operator 5—sets forth on his most thrilling and dangerous exploit while the great brains of America surrender to madness and despair; as a leaderless people seethe in revolt against a government which is crumbling before their eyes. How can Operator 5, single-handed, hope to prevail against that dread Master of Broken Men?

By Frederick C. Davis, writing as Curtis Steele

Dimensions

5.25" x 8"

Pages

202

Publication Date

May 24, 2019

Author

Curtis Steele,

Frederick C. Davis,

John Fleming Gould,

John Newton Howitt

Publisher

Altus Press

Series

Operator 5

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Editorial Review

“Master of Broken Men” is the sixth Operator 5 novel and was original published in September 1934.

The “International Utopiasts” appear to be the culprits, but like the purple shirts of “The Melting Death,” they are only a tool for the real bad guy. Utopiasts are the “enemy of all government” and “more dangerous than the Communists.” They are dedicated to destroying “every vestige of centralized government.”

The goal is the collapse of the US government. Tools forcing this include:

  • Kidnapping of important men, including Z-7, Operator 5’s boss,
  • Followed by destruction of their health and mental capability,
  • Use of savage natives from India and Australia as the brawn for the scheme,
  • Incitement of riots and revolt against government authority,
  • A man called the “Man-Breaker,” often in an iron mask, directing the action.

Once again, Jimmy Christopher, Operator 5, stands between the destruction of the country, and once again, he wins.

Could the plot work in bringing down the nation? The greatest issue is the riots. It seems difficult seeing the reason for large-scale riots occurring to the point of revolt as put forth by this novel. If they could be generated to the level as indicated in the book, then it might have been possible for the plot to succeed. However, it would be very fragile, even with the kidnapping and incapacitating of key officials. So, a successful operation along the lines of that carried out by Operator 5 could likely thwart it.

Not a bad tale, but not quite as interesting as the previous ones in this series.

—Dennis Burdette