A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy works his way up through the gangs of New York.
When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?
The first book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which rips through the early years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir beats at the chest of every reader with a bloody fist.
Thanks to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours and Leopold Borstinski for my copy of ' The Bowery Slugger', Book 1 in a new series introducing Alex Cohen.
This is quite different from both of those books and one I really enjoyed as we are introduced to Alex Cohen, a young Jewish boy who arrives in America in 1915. With his family struggling for work and money to pay the rent, Teenage Alex takes it upon himself to find some money for the family by any means necessary. This in turns introduces him to the street and gang life of New York.
The book tells the story of Alex’s violent rise through the ranks of the gang over a few years. Meeting and working for shady and bigger bosses, dealing out the brutal beatings and warnings needed to succeed in that life.
Alex, though a fierce and at times savage individual, as a character is hard not to take to, as he is trying to look after his family and get on in the only way he sees fit.
As I’ve said this is a violent book but it’s doesn’t feel gratuitous, it reads like what you imagine is authentic for the times.
With the tale set around the beginnings of The Great War, there is a backdrop to the finale that leaves an intriguing end and leaving the reader with both hope and great interest for the next book in the story of the irrepressible Alex Cohen.
Borstinski has delivered another very good, gritty slice of historic crime noir, and I would encourage any fan of historical crime fiction, in particular involving gangs, to read this book.
Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism,
business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing,
as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled
extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a
Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.
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