“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” — Dr. Seuss

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Joel Harris

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. While attending James Madison HS I was fortunate to have had several excellent writing teachers. After two years at NYU, studying Banking and Finance, I dropped out and went to work for the NY Daily News in the editorial department.

After a few months I was drafted during the Korean unpleasantness and spent my first army year with the 11th Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Kentucky where I worked the battalion intelligence desk.

Then, due to an unfortunate disagreement with the Commanding General, I was exiled to Verdun, France for my second year. My job there was in Troop Information and Education, which included writing for and editing the post newspaper.

Out of the Army and back at NYU, this time majoring in Journalism. After graduation I worked in the insurance business and took several writing courses.

For some time the story of PUBLIC PARTS was forming in my head and eventually I started writing it down. After over 20 years, eight major revisions and uncounted small ones, I self-published my book.

I live in Woodmere, NY with my wife Evelyn. We have two children. Gail, my daughter, is a social worker with two adult children. Gail's younger brother, Andrew, is a former lawyer turned journalist. He works the District Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC for Bloomberg News, and covers other similar stories. He is married and has a 4.75 year old daughter who has now taken over the family.


Published Works:


A failed escape? Or a Mob hit arranged by crime boss Meyer Lansky to silence him and save Lepke Buchalter, Bugsy Siegel and Albert Anastasia from the electric chair? A question never answered. Either way, Murder Incorporated hit man turned major crime snitch Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, known as the pigeon that could sing but not fly, encountered the one law he could not evade: The Law of Gravity.

Thirty years later, it's the early 1970s, and someone is talking. When Big Moe Levine is forced into abrupt retirement in Florida to avoid questions about the demise of his old friend, Reles, his son Larry takes over at Public Auto Parts, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Larry knows something of his father's link to the Mob, but not nearly enough, as he is left to face a relentless police detective, John Mannion, who wants answers and an equally relentless Mob boss, Carmine, who wants cooperation.

Larry tries to protect his father, end Mob sway at Public Parts, cope with Laurie, his dissatisfied wife, and Ann Riordan, his new, beautiful, and enigmatic young assistant, but complications mount until one night a tragic fire destroys all that Larry had worked for.

While dealing with his insurance company Larry is indicted for arson and other crimes, and arrested. At trial he is defended by Brownsville's own Harvard trained Bernie the Attorney. Once a renowned Mob mouthpiece, now turned Orthodox Rabbi, Bernie's time has long past.

Ultimately, Larry's fate is in the hands of Ann Riordan. Her reluctant testimony about the extent of their relationship and where they were on the night of the fire could save Larry from prison but could also destroy her engagement and his marriage.

The book is a black comedy of corruption and error cloaking a classic tale of love and betrayal, death and redemption; a might-be-true legend of its time and place, and Larry is the last man able to tell the tale.


"The writing throughout is good-to-better-than-good."
- Richard Marek, former President and Publisher, E P Dutton Co

"A Triumph."
- Stefan Kanfer, former Book Editor, Time Magazine

Self-published 2015 by XLIBRIS. Book available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com in hardcover, trade paperback and ebook formats.

Where to Purchase:



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