Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the brilliant blog tour for; Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski. Those who have been following the blog will know how much I adore this series, honestly I cannot recommend it enough. So, I am super excited to be sharing my review of book five with you all today.
Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for the invite to this tour.
About the Book
Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski
Series: Alex Cohen Series #5
Genre: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction
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.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2PLrtt2
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3dkwzEp
Leopold Borstinski’s website: https://www.leopoldborstinski.com/books/cuban-heel/
Alex Cohen is Back, and he is just as complex and canny as ever as we go barreling headfirst into the ’50s, and it’s another gripping, addictive, thrilling and compelling roller-coaster ride with our notorious gangster at the helm. For those who have been following this incredible series, that is all I need to say, you know how amazing this series is.
Cuban Heel is the fifth book in the incredible; Alex Cohen series, it is at this point in a review where I would say ‘you can easily read each one as a stand-alone and in a way you can, but I would highly recommend that that you do read them all in order as this way you won’t miss out on the subtle links which connect the books and the way Alex grows across the series. The series runs in chronological order, starting in the 1900s where our boy is just starting and finding his feet, we see Alex form his gang, go off to war, go to prison, have dealt with the Mob and the FBI and now we have reached the 1950’s and it’s all about the Casinos.
But our Alex finds himself in a wee bit of bother once again – at least it’s not the FBI this time – no, he must choose between which devil to have to breathe down his neck. Does he accept the new Cuban Presidents offer to create his empire and have his dream become a reality, or does he once again deal with the Italian Mob (haven’t we been there before, Alex?) bit to accept their money that comes with a whole host of trouble.
In the previous book, we saw our ‘not the stereotypical hero Alex (I will talk more of Alex later) and his old friend Meyer Lanksy after the huge success of their Las Vegas casino, they have their sights set on Havana they have plan’s to make Havana the Las Vegas of Cuba. Meyer as always is the brains of the operation and it has been him making the contacts and building relationship with the powerful men they need in their pocket – even if that means manipulating what is currently going on.
I love that Alex has reunited with his family in this one, I think having Alex more of a family man and seeing just how much his wife and children mean to him gives this book a different feel than the previous ones in the series. He is just as ruthless and brutal as before but this time there is something in the back of his mind that now he has something to fight for, I wouldn’t say being family orientated has tamed him, but has given him a new edge and I do think that even though he does think of the repercussion’s of his actions and there is a more thoughtful side to him being shown in this, there is a difference deadlier aura to him which I love and I cannot wait to see what happens next as we head towards the ’60s.
I can’t explain it, but there is something about Alex, I can never adequately explain, but you really can’t help but like the ultra-smart rogue. You know you shouldn’t like the bad boy and in the real world you would lock the door, bar the windows and hide behind the sofa hoping he will just keep walking down the street, he is a brute, he is a manipulative, violent, hard, notoriously aggressive gangster and yet he creeps beneath your defences.
The writing is excellent – as always – the pacing is fast and fluid, skipping from one scene to the next as quick as lightning keeping the reader fully engaged with the thrilling and edgy plot, it’s addictive you become fully transfixed with Alex and his double-dealings, never wanting it to stop and when the final pages come and go you sit back, let out the breath you have been holding since the first page.
I have to be honest that I didn’t know a huge amount of this part of history, except for what I have seen in films, I thoroughly enjoyed delving into an era and its history which I hadn’t known a lot about and I did find myself doing a little research (IE; I asked Mr Google) to learn more about the people and events portrayed. I always love the way that Borstinski always adds real historical people in his stories which he meticulously entwines with his fictional characters and it adds real depth and allows the reader to become fully immersed into the story.
I cannot recommend Cuban Heel enough, it’s fast and furious. Edgy and brutal, thrilling, eye-opening and insightful. You won’t be able to put it down until the very end if you love your crime historical fiction – think along the lines of Peaky Blinders crossed with the Goodfellas and your about halfway there to imagining just how dramatic this series is. I love it and I can’t wait for the next thrilling instalment.
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.