#BlogTour | #BookReview: Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski (@borstinski) #CubanHeel #AlexCohenSeries #damppebbles

“Would you work with the devil to build a paradise on Earth?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen joins long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky to recreate Las Vegas in 1950s Havana. When dictator President Batista gives them the opportunity to build their dream casino complexes, Alex must choose between dancing with this devil or being in debt to the Italian mob.

If he takes the mafia money then he will be tied to the men who planned his earlier downfall and removed his mentor, Lucky Luciano from the syndicate. If he refuses their investment then he will be beholden to the tinpot generalissimo and his bloated ego. But Alex knows that there is more at stake than mere gelt–now he has his family surrounding him and they will suffer the ultimate price if he makes a bad decision.

The fifth book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which tears at the heart of the Jewish mob’s role in pre-revolution Cuba. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction gives each reader the shocking skinny into the building of modern America.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be sharing my review of Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski as part of the blog tour. Cuban Heel was published in paperback and digital formats by Sobriety Press on 3rd April 2021. I chose to read and review a free eARC of Cuban Heel but that has in no way influenced my review.

Cuban Heel is the fifth book in the author’s Alex Cohen Series and if you’re a fan of historical crime or mob fiction then these books are a must read! Each book (starting with The Bowery Slugger) covers a decade of Cohen’s life from his teenage years on the mean streets of the Bowery to Cuban Heel, the latest release, which sees Cohen move to Cuba to make his mark in the 1950s. There are a further two books planned in the series and I, for one, cannot wait to read them.

Cohen and pal, Meyer Lansky, have moved to Cuba to continue to build on their Las Vegas success and make Havana their own tropical paradise. Lansky has been cultivating a relationship with Fulgencio Batista so when the dictator overthrows the existing president in a coup, and takes control of the island, Lansky is able to pull the right strings to ensure everything falls into the correct place. Over the years, Lansky and Cohen build a formidable empire of casinos and entertainment venues for the rich and famous to throw their money away in. But with increasing and ever present political unrest, Cohen must keep his interests, and most importantly, his family safe, to ensure the gelt keeps rolling in. With added pressure from the Italian commission and frequent talk of the Castro brother’s uprising, Alex Cohen will have to fight to save what’s important to him…

I love the Alex Cohen series. Cuban Heel is a great addition to a fascinating and immersive series which I will be sad to see come to an end. The author cleverly takes real events and historical figures and mixes them up with his own fictional characters to great effect. The reader really shouldn’t really like Alex Cohen. He’s a violent and aggressive man who will snuff out a life if it benefits him or he’s been instructed to do so. There’s just something about him though that is, gosh, endearing…? Can a merciless killer be endearing? I think that’s part of the appeal of this series. I have read every single book so far and I’ve been with Cohen every step of the blood-soaked way, yet I somehow feel a fondness towards him. Which is testament to the author’s brilliant writing. I am 100% invested in this series.

I will confess that my knowledge of this time in history is a little patchy. However, I am a lot more clued up since reading Cuban Heel. In fact, I don’t think I’ve read a single Alex Cohen book and not at some point Googled the real-life characters or events to find out more. Not only does Borstinski provide his readers with a fascinating, page-turner of a story but I always come away from one of his books feeling I have a deeper understanding of that period in history.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Cuban Heel is a great addition to the Alex Cohen Series. I do feel you could read it as a standalone but when there are four brilliant books before this one, why not indulge a little and get hold of the entire series. I loved that Cohen has become a reformed family man reuniting with his ex-wife, Sarah, and two of their sons, David and Moishe, along with Alex’s estranged sister, Esther. The book has a very strong sense of family which we haven’t seen from Cohen before. It was great to see his protective, softer side. As you would expect from a book about gangsters, there is violence but I thought it was toned down a little this time (compared to the earlier books). It’s official, I’m an Alex Cohen fan! I can’t wait to see where the 1960s take Alex. Be assured, wherever it is, I’ll be along for the ride! Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free eARC of Cuban Heel. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski was published in the UK by Sobriety Press on 3rd April 2021 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.ukWaterstonesamazon.com |

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.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook | Website |

#BookReview: Casino Chiseler (Alex Cohen #4) by Leopold Borstinski (@borstinski) #CasinoChiseler #AlexCohenSeries #damppebbles

4 Casino Chiseler High Res 1940“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 |

about-the-author3

FullSizeRenderLeopold 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.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook | Website |

#CoverReveal: Midtown Huckster (Alex Cohen #3) by Leopold Borstinski @borstinski #MidtownHuckster #AlexCohenSeries #damppebbles

Hello my bookish friends. I hope you’re keeping well at this strange time. I have a brilliant cover reveal for you today and it’s for a series I LOVE! I am delighted to be sharing the cover of MIDTOWN HUCKSTER with you, which is book three in the fantastic Alex Cohen Series written by Leopold Borstinski. I have read and enjoyed the first two books – The Bowery Slugger and East Side Hustler – so cannot wait to get my mitts on MIDTOWN HUCKSTER.

Before I reveal the gorgeous cover (which fits perfectly with the first two books in the series), here’s the blurb:

Can you keep your gelt and freedom when the cops have enough evidence to take you down?

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.

I cannot wait to travel to 1930s New York with Alex and find out what dastardly deeds he and his gang are getting up to. If you’re new to the Alex Cohen Series then each book covers a decade in Alex’s life, starting with his landing on the shores of America in The Bowery Slugger. They’re well worth a read and I highly recommend them.

So let’s have a look at that cover…

3 Midtown Huckster High Res 1930

I love it! Look how fantastic the three covers look together 😍

ezgif.com-video-to-gif

MIDTOWN HUCKSTER will be published by Sobriety Press on 16th July 2020. Pre-order your copy of the book NOW (please note, the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.com |

about-the-author3

FullSizeRenderLeopold 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.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook | Website |