The Bowery Slugger is the first book I've read by Leopold Borstinski but it definitely won't be the last!
The year is 1915 and Alex and his Jewish family have travelled to America from Ukraine in search of a safer and better life. The family have very little but manage to find somewhere to live in a tenement and teenage Alex quickly falls in with one of the gangs in The Bowery. This means that he is able to support his family but he tells his family very little about his 'work' as he knows that they won't approve and will worry for his safety.
It doesn't take Alex long to move up the ranks within the gang but this is a double-edged sword as although it means that he's able to earn more money, it also means that he has to increasingly watch his back, as the higher he rises, the less people he can trust.
The other issue he has is that he thinks he could be falling for a girl who lives with her family in the same tenement as him but she views his choice of career badly and tells him in no uncertain terms that although she also has feelings for him, all the time he is a part of the gang they have no future together. Alex seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place, which way will he choose to turn?
The Bowery Slugger is a captivating read, with engaging characters that creates a real sense of atmosphere as well as giving a fascinating insight into life for an immigrant trying to survive in a foreign country whilst knowing little of the language. Although this is a tale packed full of violence, I didn't feel that it was unjustified, when people are struggling to survive they will do anything they can to ensure they can put food on the table and a roof over their families heads. The pace is fast and I was completely swept away by the author's skillful story-telling and character deveolpment.
I'm looking forward to finding out what comes next for Alex and I'm eagerly awaiting news of book two in the series. If you enjoy a gritty crime thriller then I'd highly recommend that you give this little beauty a try.
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About the author
|Photo courtesy of Leopold Borstinski
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.
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With kind thanks to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours for my stop on the blog tour and the review copy.