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East Side Hustler (Alex Cohen #2) by Leopold Borstinski

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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.

Published in paperback and digital formats by Sobriety Press on 21st March 2020.


I chose this book because it is historical crime noir and I haven’t read that genre for a while.  It didn’t disappoint.

Set in Brooklyn, 1919, Alex Cohen “Fabian Mustard” returns home a broken man from the war.  When his old Jewish mob boss Waxey Gordon saves Alex from killing himself, Alex turns to his previous profession as an enforcer and vows to move up the ranks to acquire wealth and power so he doesn’t have to struggle again. 

Alex has no qualms walking up to someone and shooting them in the face. He’s intelligent and ruthless and grabs at golden opportunities to give him the power he wants.  However, the life he chooses is dangerous and filled with bootlegging, illegal gambling, drugs, and bloodshed, which does not sit well with his wife, Sarah, a former prostitute, and long-time lover who is trying to protect their sons.

This is a fast-paced and historical view of gang wars and prohibition in the early part of the 20th century.  Names like Alfonse Capone and Charles “Lucky” Luciano are weaved into a fascinating and bloody story of a man with a mission to become somebody in New York.

Thank you go Mr. Borstinski for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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Leopold BorstinskiLeopold 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 traveled 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.

Follow Leopold on his website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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