Alex lived through the war, but will he survive the peace?
Jewish gang member, Alex comes back from the Great War almost destroyed by the horrors he has seen. When he is plucked from certain death by an old friend, he commits to making so much money he’ll never know that agony again.
But the route to the top is fraught with danger and every time he helps one of his powerful friends like Al Capone, he acquires more enemies who want to see him dead. When organised crime financier, Arnold Rothstein dies, the turmoil caused by his loss sets in train a chain of events which means Alex must once more fight for his life. How far would you go to attain your American dream?
The second book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which tears through the Prohibition years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir pierces the heart of every reader like a bullet from Alex’s sniper rifle.
A 5 ⭐️ read for book 2 in the Alex Cohen series, this can be read as a stand-alone novel, reading book one gives you more insight as to where Alex has come from, and how he ended up working for the people he works for.
This story picks up as Alex returns to NYC after fighting in the war, he is not the same person who left the Bowery that has returned, he is battle scarred, despite the fact he killed people before going to fight in the war, the memories he has from the battlefield have hit him hard. The year is now 1919, few things have changed in NYC for the two years Alex has been away. He is exhausted, he didn’t want to be back with the old crowd he previously hung with, he wanted a different life, so he slept in alleys, with a begging bowl in front of him. He couldn’t manage for long, with the war haunting him, his thoughts had become dark. Then Waxey Gordon his former boss found him. Found him somewhere to go to recuperate, he was reunited with Sarah.
As the story unfolds we see the roaring twenties, the introduction of prohibition, the problems that caused. Alex finds himself back working for Waxey and Ira initially, but he wants more.
Instead of being the street thug he was before the war, Alex gets more involved in smuggling liquor, from Canada down to New York, as he proves himself more and more, he is asked to take more risks. There is a lot of violence in this novel, but it’s how it was with the likes of Al Capone in Chicago and other mob bosses. Threats are made on Alex, as well as attempts on his life. But it seems at times the more Alex gets the more he wants. As we see the Federal Agents evolve things are getting harder. Moving alcohol is tougher.
Despite his faults, I still like Alex, the story covers ten years, so by the end it is 1929. So much happens over those ten years. The characters are believable, not always likeable. Never a dull moment, you become engrossed in the story from start to finish. I read this in one day the pages turning fast wondering what Alex would have to do next. I felt at times he was like a puppet to some of the people that they were using him, he always had to prove himself to the next person, after all they were gaining money from Alex doing their dirty work for them. If you like gangsters this is a book for you. It’s not my usual type of read, but after book one, I really wanted to know where life took Alex next. I definitely give this book a very well deserved 5⭐️, the writing is flawless, the story flows.
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.
Published in paperback and digital formats by Sobriety Press on 21st March 2020.