Alex Cohen #1
A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy punches his way into the gangs of New York.
When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?
The first book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which rips through the early years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir beats at the chest of every reader with a bloody fist.
The game of baseball has a long and fine tradition, dating back over a century when rival villages would resolve their differences with a bat and a ball. While similar in appearance to the British sport of rounders, baseball is an American game played under American rules.
Even though the rule book is thick, at its heart the game involves two teams: one tries to run round a square and the other tries to stop them. A member of the team who is aiming to complete circuits of the square must use a stick to propel the ball, lobbed at them by the opposition, as far away from the square as possible. That gives them sufficient time to run around the square.
The stick, or bat, is tapered and varnished to within an inch of its life so that the baseball travels unimpeded on its journey. The other advantage of this stick is that the wood, out of which it is made, comes from only the finest trees. Why should we care about such details? Because when you take a baseball bat to a man’s skull, you can be certain you will cause him damage.
Fabian planted the end of his baseball bat firmly into the side of Sammy’s cranium, causing a little rhythmic arc of red to appear from his ear. Fabian continued to clobber him with blows to his kidneys, chest, back and head. Power swings and a practiced eye ensured each swing hit its intended target with deadly force. At first, Sammy twisted himself into a ball, desperate to protect his sides and front from the rain of woody assaults smashing against him. Then the pounding took its toll and his energy waned until his body slackened and he ceased trying to defend himself.
“You’d better not get up from this, you gonif. Understand?”
Silence for a reply because Sammy lay on the ground, one leg twitching, with no other movement. Fabian poked him in the ribs once. Nothing. He took the hem of the guy’s shirt and wiped his bat clean with it, like it was any old schmatta. He walked out of the alleyway, careful not to be seen by any passerby. Then Fabian slipped into the shadows of the Manhattan night.
Although he didn’t waste time looking back on his life, if Fabian had bothered, he would have realized that night was precisely three years to the day after he arrived in the United States of America.
Fabian continued to flee the scene of his crime, slinking from one stall to the next as he made his way back home. The image of Sammy’s skull, blood pouring out, lingered in his mind despite himself.
He pushed through the crowds south on Norfolk, turned right onto Heston and headed towards the Bowery before another right back onto Eldridge Street. His eyes stared a few feet ahead of his shoes, hat tipped forward to make it harder for people to see his face.
Thank you, Leopold Borstinski and Damppebbles Blog Tours
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.