Green’s Dictionary of Slang

working-over n.

[work over v. (2)]

1. a beating.

[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 729: They had given him what Hanson had described as the worst working over he had ever seen a prisoner get.
[US]J. Thompson Texas by the Tail (1994) 158: You don’t have to have her killed, dammit. Just a little working-over would do the trick.
[US](con. WWII) D. Westheimer Song of the Young Sentry (1969) 154: They gave him a working over but nothing’s broken.

2. a search.

[US]W.R. Burnett Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 234: He says to tell you the coppers give your apartment a working over.

3. in fig. use, non-physical harsh treatment.

[US]T. Runyon In For Life 56: There was little other crime news, so I received a rather thorough working-over.
[US]J.P. Donleavy Fairy Tales of N.Y. II iii: And don’t think I planned this either, getting you up here with Mr How to give you a working over.