I’m thoroughly enjoying this series about immigrant Jewish gangster Alex Cohen who has risen through the ranks of the New York mob. It’s now the 1930’s and he’s running Murder Inc. for Lucky Luciano. Basically, he’s managing hits on whoever falls foul of Lucky’s syndicate. But Prohibition is coming to an end, and with it, his days of running illicit liquor and girls. What’s a mobster to do? He’s not sure he likes the options that are being offered to him.
When Luciano is arrested for racketeering, Alex realizes his protection will be gone and that it’s highly probable that Special Prosecutor Thomas Dewey, who’s making it his life mission to hunt down every mobster in town, will soon come knocking on his door. Decisions need to be made … fast. Dewey will do whatever it takes to take them all down. If he can’t nail them for crimes he’s absolutely sure they’ve committed, then tax evasion will work for him too!
Alex knows that the choices he makes now will be ones that will have far-reaching repercussions on both him and his ‘colleagues’. He realizes that his usual street-smarts might not be enough to get him through this predicament and that more finesse may be required. He needs to strategise and make use of all the cards he has in his deck so that regardless of whether he goes down or not, he remains on the right side of the people who matter to him, and the people who he’ll need when he’s a free man. This could go either way though, and he must decide how to play it.
As fast-paced as the previous two books in the series (which do need to be read before reading this one), Midtown Huckster delves into the even grittier and far more detailed workings of the mob of this era … the early days of what came to be known as ‘The Mafia’. Cleverly combining his fictional characters with well-known real-life personalities and gangsters is a fabulous skill that those now familiar with Borstinski’s series will continue to enjoy.
I really do like Alex Cohen. I’m not sure if it’s quite acceptable to say that, I mean let’s be honest, the guy’s a violent murderous thug! But I think his heart’s in the right place, especially when it comes to the people he cares about, and I think when he makes promises to those people, he really means what he says … at the time!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s a ‘Jeffrey Archer’ type feel to the way Borstinski seemingly effortlessly spins a story, and I feel this even more so, seeing that the Alex Cohen series will stretch to seven books. I’m quite excited about this, as I thought it was going to be a trilogy (I don’t know why I would have thought this, as nobody actually said it would be!).
This is a solid 4-star read. Borstinski has kept up the pace and tone of his series so well, that when you start reading this, you feel like you’re immediately picking up from where you left off at the end of the previous book, with no time having lapsed in between reading them! Thanks so much to Emma Welton of Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for inviting me on the blog tour. Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about Midtown Huckster …
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.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/borstinski @borstinski