Today I pass the blog back over to Mandie for a blog tour review of The Bowery Slugger by Leopold Borstinski. Thanks to Emma of damppebbles blog tours for inviting us to take part, and to publisher Sobriety Press for providing an advance copy of the book for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy punches his way into 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.Available from: Amazon | Amazon US | Google Books | Nook
The Bowery Slugger is the first book in the Alex Cohen series and although I absolutely love historical fiction, I will admit that this is not my normal read in this genre. Having never read any previous books by this author I was not sure what to expect. That being said, I found that I flew through the book and I was hooked from the beginning. Alex Cohen is a Jewish immigrant from the Ukraine and he immediately falls in with the gangs of the Bowery, working his way up the chain quite quickly. Never sure who he can trust often it is a case of do unto them before they do it to you.
Alex is quite a complex character as he is trying to support his family in the only way he knows how, whilst shielding them from what he is involved in to achieve this. Despite not being able to really speak anything other than his own language, Alex finds that hard work and his temper soon get him in a position of some standing within the gang. There is a downside to this though, the higher up the ranks he gets the fewer people he can trust and the more he has to watch his back. He also has a problem squaring away what he does for a living with his feelings for a girl in the same tenement as him. I think he really wants to be with her but as he finds it harder and harder to escape the life he has made for himself, there seems little chance of them finding happiness.
The Bowery Slugger does not shy away from the violence that was almost normal during that time, but I would not say that Borstinski depicts this in any kind of gratuitous way. He has created characters that have a depth and attitude that make them seem real and you certainly get the feeling for life in New York in the early 1900’s and how hard it was to forge any kind of living if you were an immigrant with little command of the language of your adoptive country and where so many people with the same skillset were housed in a condensed area.
With the book ending with Alex’s future heading in a different way to that of his past I will be intrigues to see what the author has in store for him and if he will ever truly escape his life in the gangs.
About the Author
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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