In North Carolina, an uncle almost raped a teenage girl, and in Cleveland, Ohio, a vicious struggle for leadership of the Cleveland mob resulted in the brutal murder of two of the contenders and the emergence of a new don. Fifteen years later, these two events would come together and threaten to topple a criminal empire and leave two women fighting for their lives in the woods of Vermont.
Justice Department Antitrust prosecutor, Melissa “Mel” Kohn, investigated a mob money-laundering scheme involving the infiltration of legitimate businesses. The mob was represented by a reputable national law firm, one of whose attorneys, Valerie Miller, a friend of Kohn, assisted this firm client in a money-laundering scheme. Mel Kohn, a hard-nosed prosecutor who grew up on the streets of The Bronx, had no trouble dealing with the law firm, but was unprepared for the dangers she now faced from the law firm’s client.
The novel delves into the world of prosecuting and defending the Mafia and the dangers and problems faced by both the prosecutor and the defense attorneys dealing with the overhanging and pervasive presence and influence of organized crime. The novel explores why the racketeering statute, RICO, is so effective in fighting organized crime and why the Mafia is willing to take desperate gambles to avoid the reach of, and convictions under, RICO. Informants and witnesses are murdered and the lives of both the prosecutor and defense lawyers are put in harm’s way. The reader is taken (1) inside the halls of the Department of Justice and how the decisions are made on whom and what to prosecute, (2) inside the grand jury room to see what goes on during those secret proceedings behind closed doors with the jurors under the influence of the prosecutor, and where a witness’ lawyer is not permitted to attend or defend and; (3) inside a large reputable law firm and its operations--how it can bury ethics considerations and conflicts of interest to increase bottom line profits; how it can practice subtle but effective sexual discrimination, keeping deserving female attorneys from becoming partners; how unchecked sexual harassment by a senior partner pressuring Valerie Miller, a young female lawyer who works for him, resulted in date rape and perverse sexual abuse. The incidents of sexual harassment and mob representation converge, resulting in a climax of murder and harrowing attempt to escape, pitting Kohn and Miller, the two women lawyers, against a professional and ruthless mob contract killer.
About the Author
Mr. Steinhouse was Vice Chairman of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association, and on the editorial boards of two Bureau of National Affairs publications in antitrust and RICO. He also wrote and edited books on grand jury practice, criminal trial practice, and criminal juries and was a frequent lecturer at ABA National Institutes and video courses on grand jury and criminal trial practice. He is a frequent contributor to the Naples Daily News writing about the humorous side of the law.
In the 80’s and 90’s he was active on an international level for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, making several trips to Jerusalem and Helsinki on fact-finding missions and to the Soviet Union to aid Refusniks (those Jews the Soviets refused to let emigrate). A board member of the Cleveland Anti-Defamation League until 1999 and formerly on ADL’s National Legal Affairs and National Fact Finding Committees, he was active in ADL matters, including monitoring activities of hate groups.
Mr. Steinhouse, had lost family in German-occupied territory during World War II, and was personally affected by the Holocaust. He has published six books in his Holocaust series to rave reviews: Wallenberg is Here!, Righteous and Courageous, Improbable Heroes, Barred, We Shall Be Called Israel, and The Outfielder. The books received rave reviews from Holocaust scholars and authors. Harassment is Steinhouse’s first in his new legal thriller series, based on his experiences as both a prosecutor and defense attorney.
The author is happily married and lives in Naples, Florida, where he does his writing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great plot, perfect for fans of legal thrillers. Skeptics of the legal profession - who isn't included in that group? - will find plenty to confirm their ideas about the way big firm lawyers with unsavory clients operate in the shadow of the law. Two legal heroines give you attorneys to root for, as they pursue mob figures and their unscupulous lawyers in court and out. The author, a longtime Justice Department lawyer himself, brings his knowledge to bear in creating an exciting crime novel that feels rooted in the reality of the lives of prosecutors and investigators.
A thrilling ride with inside views of the justice department,RICO ,large law firms all interacting with the Mafia. At times it is brutal, sexy and always vastly entertaining. A terrific legal mystery.