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Charles Brandt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Right to Remain Silent (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

I Heard You Paint Houses / The Irishman (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Donnie Brasco: Unfinished Business (With: Joe Pistone) (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
We're Going to Win This Thing (With: Lin DeVecchio) (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Charles Brandt is an American literary fiction author that is best known for the novel “I Heard You Paint Houses.”

He was the grandson of Luigi and Rosa DiMarco, two Italian immigrants that owned a small farm on Staten Island. Like many of their contemporaries, they were illiterate even though they would become a significant part of Brandt’s life.

As a child growing up, he lived in Staten Island and was a huge fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. They left their home on Staten Island when he was three as his younger sister had some respiratory problems. The family would then move to a suburb on the Brooklyn-Queens border and they were literally a street away from Brooklyn.

As a four year old, he attended high school in Manhattan, usually commuting all the way from Queens. It was a special school that emphasized science that is still going on strong today.

But Brandt was never really interested in science but his 11th grade teacher noticed that he was good as a writer. Mr. Hertz, his English teacher, is the one who inspired him to major in English in college at the University of Delaware.

Upon graduating from college, Charles Brandt moved to Queens where he for a time worked as a high school teacher. He would later on decide to become a welfare investigator for New York City as it paid better. It is from this time that he came to know and interact with mafia types who used to control East Harlem.
He also worked at Arthur Avenue and Little Italy in lower Manhattan which were also hotbeds of the mafia. In addition to Corona in Queens, these four pockets of Italian American influence would provide him with much needed material for his later works of fiction.

Growing up in Brooklyn, he used to spend most of his weekends in Staten Island on his grandparents’ farm. He used to love riding the horse and wagon that belonged to his grandfather and helped in the selling of produce to visiting Americans that spent their summer vacations on the island.
As such, he understood some Italian as a child even though he lost the ability to speak it as he grew older.

Brandt would sharpen his storytelling and writing skills from hands-on experience interrogating witnesses and solving homicides. After graduating from law school he would become a homicide investigator in Delaware.

He would rise quickly through the ranks to become prosecutor and finally State of Delaware Chief Deputy Attorney General. After breaking records as a prosecutor and attorney general in Delaware, he decided to leave and forge his own destiny. In 1976 he went into private practice, where he defended some major figures of the time.

Some of the people he worked for include the Pagan motorcycle club President who was accused of killing two witnesses in the Pine Barrens. Brandt would later specialize in defending medical malpractice cases.

He also became an expert in the cross examination of medical experts that included everything from oncologists to neurosurgeons. During this time, Charles Brandt worked on wrongful death investigations and was once named on the list of Best Lawyers in America by other trial lawyers.

He was also named on the list of Best Lawyers in Delaware. During his time in Delaware, he was president of the American Board of Trial Advocates Delaware Chapter and the Trial Lawyers Association of Delaware. He was also known as a brilliant teacher of interrogation techniques to trial lawyers and police officers.

“I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt is an interesting novel about the mafia. The novel takes its title from the first words Jimmy Hoffa first uttered to Frank Sheeran which were “I Heard You Paint Houses.”

In the course of more than five years, Frank Sheeran, carried out more than two dozen hits for the mafia and for Hoffa, his friend. He had learned his craft while in the U.S. Army during the Second World War, where he fought in Italy for more than 400 days.

After coming back from the war, he became a hit man and hustler working for Russell Bufalino the legendary crime boss. Eventually, he rose in the organization that he would become a part of a RICO suit.

He would become one of only two non-Italian American men on the list of 26 mafia figures indicted by Rudy Giuliani, the US Attorney General. When Sheeran got the order to kill Hoffa from Bufalino he killed him as refusing the latter would have meant his own death.

Sheeran’s fascinating story provides more information on other famous hits. It also offers rare insights into what is an interesting chapter of American history.

Charles Brandt’s novel “The Right to Remain Silent” is the story of a talented, dedicated and zealous wisecracking police officer Lou Razzi. He is the best at extracting information from suspects and this means he is poised to quickly rise through the ranks. But then he is framed and sentenced to two years in jail.
Given his conviction, he loses his wife, his daughter and his career. When he finally gets out of prison, he leaves the country and heads to Brazil on self imposed exile. Fifteen year later, he comes back hardened and intends to serve the requisite one year on the police force so that he can claim his pension.
However, he finds himself in a slog of complex conspiracy where his old tools of trade were little more than useless given the recent Miranda decision. He is now no better than a rookie but he learns fast from his mistakes and soon becomes invaluable to Honey Gold the assistant district attorney.

It is not long before he can finally go against the power which had put him in prison. He believes that even in an era of new police procedures he can still manage to survive and thrive. While it is a novel that can be written for entertainment, it is also a thrilling study into the art of interrogation.

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