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? Either way, Murder Incorporated hit man turned major crime snitch Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, "the pigeon who could sing but not fly," encountered the one law he could not evade: The Law of Gravity.
Thirty years later in the early 1970s, Larry Levine takes over at PUBLIC AUTO PARTS, in Brownsville, Brooklyn, when his father is forced into abrupt retirement in Florida to avoid questions about the demise of his old friend, Reles. Someone is talking. Larry knows a little 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. While trying to protect his father, end Mob sway at Public Parts, deal with Laurie, his dissatisfied wife, and Ann Riordan, his new, beautiful, and enigmatic young assistant, the business burns to the ground. Indicted for arson and other charges, he is defended by Brownsville's own Harvard trained Bernie the Attorney, once a renowned Mob mouthpiece, now turned Orthodox Rabbi, whose time has long past. Ultimately, Larry’s fate is in the hands of his assistant, whose 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.
PUBLIC PARTS 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.
PRAISE FOR PUBLIC PARTS
“The writing throughout is good-to-better-than-good.”
Richard Marek, former President and Publisher, E P Dutton Co
Stefan Kanfer, former Book Editor, Time Magazine