Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Midtown Huckster’ by Leopold Borstinski, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
1930s Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen runs Murder Inc for Lucky Luciano. After the death of Prohibition he must find a new way to make money, just as the cops are baying at his heels. When Luciano goes down for racketeering, Alex loses his protection and is arrested for tax evasion–he must decide between saving his skin and ratting out his friends.
If he chooses prison time then his gang will fall apart and he will end up with nothing. If he squeals then he will have to flee the city he loves and the family he once adored. What would you do in a world where nobody can be trusted and you have everything to lose?
The third book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical noir novel, which plunges you deep into the early days of narcotics trafficking and the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction delivers a fix to every reader like heroin from a needle.
Midtown Huckster is the third book in the Alex Cohen series. While it can certainly be read as a standalone, this is a series that is going from strength to strength, and there are little details and elements of the context that are stronger for reading the rest of the series, and you get to see how Alex has reached the point he’s now at.
Once again and showing a reoccurring strength on the side of the author, it is the historical elements of this book that made me fall in love with the story. You can feel the dedication to the era throughout the story, but the facts never get in the way of the story but enrich it until it feels as though you have stepped through a door to the past. In Midtown Huckster it’s the end of Prohibition, and the start of a new era, where Alex and his contemporaries have to look elsewhere in order to make money and keep the mob in power. You can really get a feel for that newness, and uncertainty of these latest endeavours, in a world that is trying to push back against them. The excellent writing, and continued appearances from well-known historical figures, build on this and provide a robust and realistic foundation that lifts the narrative.
Alex remains a fascinating character, and while his actions and choices, such as working as part of the Murder Corporation for the syndicate, place him very much on the wrong side of the law. It is impossible not to enjoy his character, he remains human despite everything that he is involved in– from his failing personal relationships to his past, to the moments of vulnerability and the weight of what could happen if he makes the wrong choice. All in all, he makes for an excellent main character, and it has been a delight to see how he has grown and adapted from the events in the previous book to the ones he is living through now, and I look forward to seeing where his path will take him in the future.
For me, this has been my favourite book of the three, and it feels very much as though the series has hit its stride and will only continue from here. The writing is a wonderful blend of historical detail, action and human moments, and there’s never a dull moment from start to finish.
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.
Midtown Huckster (Alex Cohen #3) – Leopold Borstinski (Published in paperback and digital formats by Sobriety Press on 16th July 2020) – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.