“Would you gamble everything you possess to win more than you can imagine?
Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen leaves jail to find salvation from the 1940s mob in the hotels of Las Vegas. When Bugsy Siegel invites him to take over sports betting in Nevada, Alex must figure out how to get back to the top table in New York without attracting the Feds’ attention.
If he succeeds then he will regain his self respect, but if he fails then the last members of the national crime syndicate will cut him dead and he will be left a nobody or wind up a corpse. And after he bumps into his childhood sweetheart, he has a once in a lifetime opportunity to win her heart. But Alex knows the criminal underworld has the habit of spilling over into his personal life and when Meyer Lansky asks him to murder Siegel, Alex must choose what is truly important to him.
The fourth book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which rips open the Jewish mob’s involvement in the birth of modern Vegas. Leopold Borstinski’s shattering crime fiction deals a royal flush to each reader.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be sharing my review of Casino Chiseler which is the fourth book in the Alex Cohen Series by Leopold Borstinski. Casino Chiseler was published on 30th September 2020 and is available in paperback and digital formats. I chose to read and review an eARC of Casino Chiseler but that has in no way influenced my review.
My favourite gangster is back but this time he’s moved halfway across the country to make his fortune in Las Vegas, baby! Having had the syndicate turn their backs on him, it’s time for Alex Cohen to up-sticks and make his name elsewhere. This is another super addition to a very readable series and I really enjoyed it.
Alex Cohen’s connection to the powerful syndicate who always had his back has been severed. Following a short stint in Sing Sing, he leaves jail with only a fraction of his fortune and very few friends. But that’s not going to keep a man like Alex down, no siree! When Benny ‘Bugsy’ Siegel invites Cohen to Las Vegas and offers him the chance to have a hand in a new sports betting wire, Cohen sees it as the perfect opportunity to regain some respect from the syndicate and work his way back to the top. But Cohen is playing a deadly game and you can bet that someone is going to get hurt…
This is the fourth book in the author’s Alex Cohen Series of historical thrillers and it’s wonderful blend of fact and fiction really pulls the reader into the story. I adore Las Vegas, so for me, reading a part-fictional/part-fact account of modern Vegas’ early days was fascinating. I even ended up Googling a couple of things to see how the book compared to what actually happened.
Once again, and as with all previous books in this series, there’s a lot to squeeze in (the reader gets to see Cohen’s life over the course of 10 years) so it’s pretty non-stop action from the start. I think you could read Casino Chiseler as a standalone but it’s worth investing in the series and seeing Cohen grow from the moment he lands on the shores of New York as a teen. Past events are often referred to, so to understand the history between the characters fully, I would suggest starting with The Bowery Slugger. And on that note, it was wonderful to see Rebecca – his teenage crush – return to Cohen’s life. But oh boy, has she changed!
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. If you’re a fan of historical thrillers and you can stomach a little spilt blood (they’re gangsters, it goes with the territory!) then I recommend Casino Chiseler and the other books in the Alex Cohen Series. They’re gritty but full of heart too. Despite being a pretty terrible human being and killing frequently without remorse, you can’t help but like Alex and become invested in his journey. I will say, the ending came a little out of the blue for me. It was a sudden change of direction which threw me a little. I look forward to reading book five – Cuban Heel – soon and seeing where the author takes things. Recommended.
I chose to read and review a free eARC of Casino Chiseler. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Casino Chiseler by Leopold Borstinski was published in the UK by Sobriety Press on 30th September 2020 and is available in paperback and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
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.