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29 review for Cuban Heel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Belmont

    We are back with Alex Cohen in Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski! I really enjoyed this series so far, so I was really excited to read Cuban Heel. Leopold Borstinski has done it again. This time the story is set in the 50s, and we watch Alex and his friend, Meyer Lansky figure out a way to set up a casino business in Cuba. Alex is a complex and wonderfully written character. I recommend reading these books in order, because you really get a sense of who Alex was and who he becomes over time. This st We are back with Alex Cohen in Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski! I really enjoyed this series so far, so I was really excited to read Cuban Heel. Leopold Borstinski has done it again. This time the story is set in the 50s, and we watch Alex and his friend, Meyer Lansky figure out a way to set up a casino business in Cuba. Alex is a complex and wonderfully written character. I recommend reading these books in order, because you really get a sense of who Alex was and who he becomes over time. This story has a mixture of real people and real events, and it keeps you hooked from page one. I highly recommend this series! *I received a free copy of this book from Damppebbles Blog Tours to review honestly on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I was really looking forward to reading "Cuban Heel" (book 5 in the "Alex Cohen" series), and I wasn't disappointed. Once again, the imagery and atmosphere of the book swept me back to Alex Cohen's world. I love the plot, the characters (sort of... mostly!), the setting, and the writing is superb. You really need to read this series to fully grasp how vivid the stories are. I hope book 6 will be available soon! This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion. My tha I was really looking forward to reading "Cuban Heel" (book 5 in the "Alex Cohen" series), and I wasn't disappointed. Once again, the imagery and atmosphere of the book swept me back to Alex Cohen's world. I love the plot, the characters (sort of... mostly!), the setting, and the writing is superb. You really need to read this series to fully grasp how vivid the stories are. I hope book 6 will be available soon! This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion. My thanks to damppebblesblogtours

  3. 4 out of 5

    Frankie (Chicks, Rogues and Scandals)

    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 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. A

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Welcome to the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series, which finds Alex fresh from the Las Vegas scene and trying to establish his own gambling empire in Cuba, in partnership with old friend Meyer Lansky. There is a lot of money to be made in a country that is little more than a banana republic under the control of a dictator president, but to do so Alex must make some difficult choices - President Batista wants part of the action, and some pretty hefty bribes too, but it boils down to either keepin Welcome to the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series, which finds Alex fresh from the Las Vegas scene and trying to establish his own gambling empire in Cuba, in partnership with old friend Meyer Lansky. There is a lot of money to be made in a country that is little more than a banana republic under the control of a dictator president, but to do so Alex must make some difficult choices - President Batista wants part of the action, and some pretty hefty bribes too, but it boils down to either keeping him sweet or relying on money from the Syndicate back home - the very people who were plotting Alex's downfall not so long ago. Despite the tricky situation, Alex knows if he can make enough money in Cuba he will be set for life, and he is rather enjoying being away from the beady eye of the FBI for once, but things are about to get complicated - there are quite a few old Syndicate buddies who want in on the deal, Meyer is demanding more and more commitment, and a revolution that threatens all their schemes is on the horizon... It was great to meet up with Alex again in his fifth adventure Cuban Heel, and this time we see him wheeling and dealing in Cuba. There are opportunities aplenty on this little tropical island off the coast of Florida, and lots of money to be made if Alex can learn the rules of the game quickly enough. As usual money talks, and President Batista is a man who is partial to lining his own pockets at the expense of his people, which gives Alex and Meyer some promising avenues to exploit, but do they really know what they are getting themselves involved in? I did not know a lot about the mobster operations in Cuba that intended to make it into a playground for American tourists, but it is hard to ignore that there is a pretty fixed window of opportunity in a country headed for a very well known revolution and change of leadership at the beginning of 1959. This brings a really interesting air of suspense to the tale while you are waiting for the inevitable takeover by the Castro brothers that must bring an end to the fun, and Borstinski nicely works into the story some of the events heading up the to eventual downfall of Batista. Tension builds slowly, as the story goes back and forth between Cuba and some action packed visits by Alex to the US, until everything comes crashing down in a way that makes you wonder how he is going to get out of this one without losing everything. The entertaining way Borstinski keeps you on the edge of your seat makes this my favourite Alex Cohen story so far, but it is not the only thing: Cuban Heel also sees Alex shaping his own dynasty for the first time, as he begins to build bridges with his sons, and establish a family affair with him and Sarah at the top. Although both Sarah and Alex want to keep their children on the legitimate side of operations, we know that they are are all more than aware of the shady dealings beneath the surface of everything Alex does, which offers some interesting possibilities for the future - and of course, it's great to finally see Sarah getting some recognition. Talking of shady dealings, Alex is called upon to make use of his special skills more than once in this book, especially to settle some old scores and keep his reputation fresh in certain circles back home, even if the Italian mobs are distancing themselves from the Jewish gangs - it seems he is still a good friend to have around in a tight spot! Of course, the party does come to an end, as we know it will, and Alex now needs to move onto pastures new, but this time he will be beginning with his family around him and some intriguing cards up his sleeve, which I have no doubt he will play to his advantage. I have enjoyed each and every one of the books in this series, and Alex has become like an old friend to me now - albeit one with a particular set of less than legal skills. His experiences have shaped him into the very resourceful and crafty character he has become, and it has been a pleasure being along for the ride. I cannot wait to see what comes next in book six, Hollywood Bilker, which will take us into the 1960s!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    From the very first page, it’s like being back with an old friend. The familiarity that one feels reading another Alex Cohen book, the next in the series, settles on you like a warm, comforting blanket on a chilly evening! Alex and his crew however are a whole different story! I wouldn’t get too comfortable with them! This time around Alex and his old friend Meyer Lansky are aiming at doing business in Cuba. The object is to re-create what they achieved in Las Vegas: to build a successful, sparkl From the very first page, it’s like being back with an old friend. The familiarity that one feels reading another Alex Cohen book, the next in the series, settles on you like a warm, comforting blanket on a chilly evening! Alex and his crew however are a whole different story! I wouldn’t get too comfortable with them! This time around Alex and his old friend Meyer Lansky are aiming at doing business in Cuba. The object is to re-create what they achieved in Las Vegas: to build a successful, sparkling, gambling oasis where people (mainly Americans) can come and part with their cash. This said cash would them go into the pockets of the mafia and the Cuban government. That’s where the difficulty comes in, because tough negotiations need to be held with General Batista, who has recently staged a successful coup to re-gain power in Cuba. And he wants what he wants. Although Alex and Meyer work closely and come across as partners in their dealings with others, it’s clear to the reader that much to his chagrin, Alex still works for Meyer, rather than for him. This is something that irks him greatly. And while Meyer sets up shop full-time in Havana, Alex prefers to spend more time back in the States where he’s able to go about his business more independently. So he only returns to Havana a couple of times a month, leaving his wife Sarah (who he’s now re-united with) who’s Meyer’s trusted assistant to hold the fort there. It was great to see how their relationship had matured to the extent that they’re now able to spend so much time apart but no longer have the trust issues that prevailed in previous years. The other relationships that grow and mature in this book are the ones that Alex has with his children. So much so that some even venture into business with him, under Alex’s strict conditions that their dealings remain strictly legal and above board. He will not allow any of his children to touch any of his business matters that fall on the ‘other’ side of the law. As political events in Cuba begin to get heated and it becomes evident that Fidel Castro will now be the one taking control, Americans and their ‘big business’ are no longer wanted or needed and things become very difficult for those who had dealings with the previous government. Meyer and Alex need to make some hasty decisions. There’s a lot of money in the balance and they stand to lose a lot. What will they do? In his usual easy style, Borstinski mixes fact with fiction, reality with imagination, and smatterings of Yiddish in a narrative that’s engaging and fast-moving. Alex Cohen remains the lovable rogue, despite his brutal and ruthless streak that still remains, albeit in a somewhat more subdued form. He’s definitely more thoughtful about his actions, and is ever protective of his family, who are not as estranged as they once were. Biding his time with his children is starting to pay off and they are drawing closer to him. With his age has come maturity, understanding and responsibility but Alex will always feel the need to prove himself and will never fully lose that sense of being the outsider. I’m looking forward to seeing what Alex gets up to in the next instalment of this engaging saga. Although each book in this series could be read as a standalone, I do recommend that you read them in order. The series makes for compelling reading and you’ll be able to see how far Alex has come from young, feisty immigrant to mature, man-about-town mafioso. This is a 4-star read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    All of my reviews can be found at https://damppebbles.com/ 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, f All of my reviews can be found at https://damppebbles.com/ 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Gray

    Cuban Heel continues the adventures of Alex Cohen, Jewish gangster and assassin. Alex is a bit older and wiser now, he's been a mobster for over 40 years and has moved up to managing others and running his own businesses. Leaving his loyal lieutenants Ezra and Massimo to take care of his interests in Las Vegas, Alex and his ex-wife Sarah join Meyer Lansky in Havana, Cuba. Meyer dreams of replicating the success of Las Vegas in Latin America. Only a few days into their new venture sees the militar Cuban Heel continues the adventures of Alex Cohen, Jewish gangster and assassin. Alex is a bit older and wiser now, he's been a mobster for over 40 years and has moved up to managing others and running his own businesses. Leaving his loyal lieutenants Ezra and Massimo to take care of his interests in Las Vegas, Alex and his ex-wife Sarah join Meyer Lansky in Havana, Cuba. Meyer dreams of replicating the success of Las Vegas in Latin America. Only a few days into their new venture sees the military coup that deposes President Carlos Socarras in favor of the US-backed Colonel Batista. Installing himself as President, Batista is more than amenable to working with Meyer and Alex, so long as sizable "donations" make their way to him in return for much coveted gambling licenses. As the years pass, Alex enjoys life in Cuba, though he reminisces often about life in the US. His sons David and Moishe, as well as his sister Esther make overtures of reconciling their estrangements, but Alex is determined to keep them to the legal side of his business dealings. Alex makes quite a few trips back to the States, though it is becoming more and more apparent that the Italian half of the Jewish-Italian National Crime Syndicate is slowly but surely edging out their Jewish compatriots. More and more, Alex is forced to consider before committing to a course of action instead of blindly following. Alex isn't getting younger, his family has grown closer, and while he has the utmost respect for some of the Bosses, that respect isn't always returned. Several times Alex has to pick his way carefully through the landmine that is mafia politics, and while Meyer likes to phrase things as if Alex is his equal, it's readily apparent who is really in charge. During their time in Cuba, Batista's dictatorship is never quite free of conflict; there is scattering of protests, and the constant threat of guerilla warfare lead by rebels. Alex is asked to advise the Cuban Army on how to deal with the rebels lead by Fidel Castro, but is unable to make much headway and has to deal with PTSD flashbacks for his troubles. Meyer Lansky ignores Alex's unease regarding the rebel threat, which only grows as the years pass. When Meyer presses Alex to invest the entirety of his savings in a new casino or leave Cuba, the decision has the power to destroy either his family's safety or decades of loyalty and friendship. Cuban Heel is a solid addition to the Alex Cohen series, showcasing the growth of a cocky, angry young immigrant into a serious, deadly man who has succeed despite the odds. The history of 1950s Cuba is not often told in the US, and seeing it through Alex's eyes; the eyes of a man who empathizes with the common Cuban although he both despises and works with the dictatorship's regime is a revelation. Threaded throughout is the testing of Alex's loyalty to the mafia while he grows older and closer to his family. Full of danger, intrigue and political infighting, Cuban Heel is a great book that sets the stage for the future of both Alex and mafia in the upcoming decades.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Rimmelzwaan

    Cuban Heel' is the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series and is an historical thriller novel. I have followed Alex Cohen from the very beginning and every single book has been a riveting and immersive read. 'Cuban Heel' takes us through the 1950s and we see Alex and his good friend Meyer Lansky looking to set up business in Cuba with a string of Casinos. To do this they have to deal.with the Cuban President who is not exactly above board with regards to his business dealings. Alex is also back wit Cuban Heel' is the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series and is an historical thriller novel. I have followed Alex Cohen from the very beginning and every single book has been a riveting and immersive read. 'Cuban Heel' takes us through the 1950s and we see Alex and his good friend Meyer Lansky looking to set up business in Cuba with a string of Casinos. To do this they have to deal.with the Cuban President who is not exactly above board with regards to his business dealings. Alex is also back with his ex-wife Sarah and is slowly reconnecting with his estranged sons and sister. While he seems happy with his current life in Havana he is also hankering after his old life back in the states. 'Cuban Heel' differs from the previous books as this one really hones in on Alex and Meyer's friendship. It becomes clearer as the story unfolds that although Meyer is constantly saying they are equal partners we see Meyer making the decisions. Alex becomes more and more unsettled about this relationship and just how much he would be on the one to take the fall anything goes wrong. Although he is still occasionally drawn back into his old life by his former associates, he does his absolute best to keep his sons out of that side of his life only wanting them to deal with the legal side of his work. Even though Alex is not always on the right side of the law he is a man I do think has done the absolute best he can with the hand he was dealt. We see a new maturity in him as he thinks more and questions also. This is different to Alex Cohen of the previous years, he didn't question anything just did it. This is a series of books that I highly recommend and I would say to get the very best from Leopold Borstinksi's highly entertaining and even sometimes educational tale, I would start at the cery beginning. You will be introduced to characters along the way that a memorable for all different reasons. 'Cuban Heel' educated me about Fidel Castro and the revolution he spearheaded. I knew nothing about this time in history but Leopold Borstinski has again woven true events and people into his historical crime noir story and I for one, am already waiting to see when the next one arrives. Thanks to Emma from Damp Pebbles Blog Tours and Leopold Borstinski for the copy of the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mandie

    Cuban Heel is the 5th book in the Alex Cohen series, and I enjoyed this one just as much as the previous books. This time the story takes us through the 1950’s and sees Alex and his good friend Meyer Lansky looking to set up business in Cuba with a string of Casinos. To do this they have to get in bed with the Cuban President who is not exactly above board with regards to his business dealings. Alex is also back with his ex-wife Sarah and is slowly reconnecting with his estranged sons and sister Cuban Heel is the 5th book in the Alex Cohen series, and I enjoyed this one just as much as the previous books. This time the story takes us through the 1950’s and sees Alex and his good friend Meyer Lansky looking to set up business in Cuba with a string of Casinos. To do this they have to get in bed with the Cuban President who is not exactly above board with regards to his business dealings. Alex is also back with his ex-wife Sarah and is slowly reconnecting with his estranged sons and sister. Whilst part of him is happy with his current life in Havana there is also a part of him that misses his old life back in the states. This book has a slightly different feel to it as it seems to focus entirely on the relationship between Alex and his friend and you certainly get the feeling that Meyer Lansky still calls all the shots even though he tries to convince Alex that they are going to be partners in the casino ventures. As time goes on you can see that Alex gets more and more uneasy about the relationship and just how much he would be on the hook for should anything go wrong. Although he is still occasionally drawn back into his old life by his former associates, he takes great lengths to keep his sons out of that side of his life only wanting them to deal with his legitimate transactions. Despite some of the things that Alex does you can’t help but like him. He has made the best of his life that he can but the overarching thing about him is his loyalty to both friends and family. Where once he would do what was asked of him, he now questions some of the requests and takes his time to consider if it is the right thing for him. Once again Borstinski has peppered his book with real events of the era and real people to add a touch of authenticity to the story. This time Alex has the revolution led by Fidel Castro to contend with and this is a part of history I am not overly familiar with, so it was interesting to read about some of the things that went on at this time. After his abrupt departure from Cuba, I am looking forward to seeing what is in store for Alex next and if he will ever retire and live a quiet life with Sarah.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Philip Van

    Alex Cohen helps Meyer Lansky bring Vegas gambling to Batista's Cuba - 5 stars This is the best yet of the stories of the enforcer-style gangsters series. Alex Cohen has matured and is still putting his family first as he sets up gambling, money laundering and associated business out of the reach of Uncle Sam. You don't have to read the prior books in the series. This story may encourage you to check out Alex's rise from intimidation muscle through bootlegging, Murder Incorporated and Los Vegas. A Alex Cohen helps Meyer Lansky bring Vegas gambling to Batista's Cuba - 5 stars This is the best yet of the stories of the enforcer-style gangsters series. Alex Cohen has matured and is still putting his family first as he sets up gambling, money laundering and associated business out of the reach of Uncle Sam. You don't have to read the prior books in the series. This story may encourage you to check out Alex's rise from intimidation muscle through bootlegging, Murder Incorporated and Los Vegas. Alex's family relations have warmed considerably even though he has to make "hits". Alex has reunited with his wife Sara and his two sons, David and Moishe. Havana's food is not up to the New York City standards but the enforcement business is just the same. Alex requires honesty -- be honest with him and do what you agree to do and all will be well. Alex frequently reminds his cohorts of the motto "We work together, play together but die alone". Out of the reach and protection of the United States, Alex takes on the crumbling Italian mob. He even tells his benefactor Meyer Lansky that he does not want to participate as a full supporter of the next Havana casino complex. I enjoyed sitting at the table with the people who were about to finance yet another casino. The men refused to talk business until the one female (Sara - Alex's "skirt") left the room because, in deference to Sicilian traditions, women were not to be part of any business dealings. Batista's corruption and weak military are clearly depicted. The end of the free-spending Yankee attraction is extremely well done. The anger of the Cuban people is tangible. The Cuban Heel is excellent.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Neats

    Cuban Heel is the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series and the books just keep getting better and better. It's now the 1950's and Alex and his friend Meyer Lansky have moved on from Vegas and are now in Cuba looking to replicate their success in the world of casino's. Alex knows that if he plays his cards right (excuse the pun!) he can make enough money in Cuba to set him and his family up for the rest of their lives, but it's not going to be an easy ride. There's a coup going on and General Bati Cuban Heel is the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series and the books just keep getting better and better. It's now the 1950's and Alex and his friend Meyer Lansky have moved on from Vegas and are now in Cuba looking to replicate their success in the world of casino's. Alex knows that if he plays his cards right (excuse the pun!) he can make enough money in Cuba to set him and his family up for the rest of their lives, but it's not going to be an easy ride. There's a coup going on and General Batista wants a slice of the action and this is something that Alex is more than a little unsure about. He hasn't just got himself to think about now as he's back together with his ex-wife Sarah and he's slowly rebuilding his previously turbulent relationships with his two sons and one wrong move on his part could jeopardise everything in more ways than one. Alex is a bad guy but with a heart of gold and it's for that reason that I always find myself liking him more and more. He came to America as a young boy with his family who had nothing and he's managed to carve a life out for himself - albeit in ways that are questionable, but he's a loyal family man who always has his family at the forefront of his mind. I love the way that the author once again cleverly weaves historical fact with fiction, as it not only makes for entertaining reading, it leaves me with a feeling that I've learnt something as well. All of the characters, whether fictional or real, are superbly written and the ineraction is so very believable. Following Alex on his journey through life is an exciting ride and I would thoroughly recommend that you join him. If you enjoy historical fiction, crime novels or just have an interest in gangsters, then this fabulous series could be for you.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    The setting is the 1950s, the place in Cuba and this is the 5th book in the Alex Cohen series. The author has created a series that follows the life, relationship, work and family of Jew, Alex Cohen. A man who had nothing and who has turned a profit from his various wheelings and dealings, oh and the occasional murder! Cuba is the new Vegas for Alex's business colleague Lansky Meyer. A country that will see the gambling empire that Meyer to possibly come to fruition. A place that he can call his The setting is the 1950s, the place in Cuba and this is the 5th book in the Alex Cohen series. The author has created a series that follows the life, relationship, work and family of Jew, Alex Cohen. A man who had nothing and who has turned a profit from his various wheelings and dealings, oh and the occasional murder! Cuba is the new Vegas for Alex's business colleague Lansky Meyer. A country that will see the gambling empire that Meyer to possibly come to fruition. A place that he can call his own and is free from the mobs and bosses, as well as Hoover and the FBI. Alex is a hustler, he has worked with and alongside the big bosses and now that he is back with his wife Sarah he wants a more settled life. While he is still in the thick of things, he is thinking more about the impact things could have on his family. In the past, he has been very much an act now think later guy. As he has aged and gained experience he is looking at a different lifestyle and that Cuba may provide that. As this series does contain references to historical events, I was aware of the troubles that await Alex as Cuba, or Castro makes himself known. Being "in bed" with a president doesn't make it a safe place when Castro makes his move. Once again, the author has completely had me hooked on what happens next with Alex. Even though he is a rogue, I do have a soft spot for him as I have followed him from his beginnings and arrival in the US. Each decade the author takes his characters into have historical references and these are worked well in the stories. Again Alex is at the forefront and he has certain roles, not just as a father and husband but also as a businessman. Wanting to leave certain parts of his past in the past is not easier. He is a man with a reputation and this means he is the man to go to. I do like how the author keeps him in the thick of things and never makes things plain sailing. The action and drama of Alex's life never stop and this makes this such an exciting series. A series that I adore and if you like historical fiction, gangsters, action, mobs and dubious dealings then this is one for you. I would definitely recommend this series and also this latest book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Namrata Ganti

    This is the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series. Having read only the first one, I was a little skeptical to read this one. However, I am very happy that I enjoyed this book just as much. Even though there were some events that I missed, the overall story made sense and was easy to follow. The story follows Alex Cohen as he sets out to help his long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky set up an entertainment industry in Havana through Casinos. The story centers on the unrest in Cuba ar This is the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series. Having read only the first one, I was a little skeptical to read this one. However, I am very happy that I enjoyed this book just as much. Even though there were some events that I missed, the overall story made sense and was easy to follow. The story follows Alex Cohen as he sets out to help his long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky set up an entertainment industry in Havana through Casinos. The story centers on the unrest in Cuba around the time of the pre-revolution. The story was an eye opener and written in the authors signature fast-paced style. The atmosphere is rife with politics, corruption, money-making plans and Alex’s attempt to keep his sons out of the illegitimate part of his dealings. The author has done a great job in portraying the various relationships and in building the characters to where they are in this current book. It was wonderful to see how Alex has grown and evolved in spite of his ruthlessness. There are so many layers to the characters and the historical significance of the events are enough to keep the readers hooked until the very end! I definitely recommend this series by Leopold Borstinski and am sure that fans of historical fiction, crime fiction and and the mafia will devour these books!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Cuban Heel - a review by Rosemary Kenny Alex Cohen is involved in a Mafia-financed scheme, with his 'boss'/pal Meyer, to get a new Las Vegas-type casino built and operational, in Havana, Cuba. Meyer and Alex negotiate with army leader/new president, Fulgencio Batista, following his successful military coup. Alex (and wife Susan's) son David, is an accountant for a major US company, whom his father introduces to first Meyer, then next the corrupt President Batista, to negotiate Meyer's casino empir Cuban Heel - a review by Rosemary Kenny Alex Cohen is involved in a Mafia-financed scheme, with his 'boss'/pal Meyer, to get a new Las Vegas-type casino built and operational, in Havana, Cuba. Meyer and Alex negotiate with army leader/new president, Fulgencio Batista, following his successful military coup. Alex (and wife Susan's) son David, is an accountant for a major US company, whom his father introduces to first Meyer, then next the corrupt President Batista, to negotiate Meyer's casino empire permits, money required, etc. Leopold Borstinski weaves a superbly noir tale of 1950s Cuba, where Batista holds sway in Havana, with Meyer, Alex, his family and two of his US lieutenants enjoying the high-life...until Fidel Castro and his brother, lead their rebel peasant group onto the streets of the capital, to destroy everything American owned or operated, while sending Batista scuttling away to the States, just in time. Can Meyer, Alex, Susan, David and their bodyguard Ezra make it out alive? How do the two with the most to lose, save their illegal gains to start again elsewhere? Get Leopold Borstinski's great 5th novel in his Alex Cohen series (& no's 1-4!), to find out - before omérta gags those in the know!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jay Williams

    The author does a brilliant book integrated for the gangsters through the years. This time he describes Alex Cohen move into Cuba and working with casinos with Meyer Lansky and the dictator, Baptista. The action as the American criminals gives details of what is happening and the ignoring the rebels in Cuba. As Alex Cohen brings his sons to work legitimize, and spends a little with his sister we stayed a while until one of his brothers and his sister go back to New York to handle his business th The author does a brilliant book integrated for the gangsters through the years. This time he describes Alex Cohen move into Cuba and working with casinos with Meyer Lansky and the dictator, Baptista. The action as the American criminals gives details of what is happening and the ignoring the rebels in Cuba. As Alex Cohen brings his sons to work legitimize, and spends a little with his sister we stayed a while until one of his brothers and his sister go back to New York to handle his business there. The narrative includes a number of Jewish terms that makes the story more interesting. I find the writing style makes smooth and engrossing. History of the organized of important actions fit well into Alex story. I recommend all of Leo Borstinski books.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski is the 5th book of the Alex Cohen series and unfortunately this is the first book I’ve read which I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous 4 books. It’s based in 1950’s where corruption and dirty dealings is rife…I enjoyed reading the facts during that era which the author wove through the story making Alex’s business sit seamlessly into that colourful time. It’s a good thriller, it’s just a shame I hadn’t read the previous books as there is Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski is the 5th book of the Alex Cohen series and unfortunately this is the first book I’ve read which I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous 4 books. It’s based in 1950’s where corruption and dirty dealings is rife…I enjoyed reading the facts during that era which the author wove through the story making Alex’s business sit seamlessly into that colourful time. It’s a good thriller, it’s just a shame I hadn’t read the previous books as there is obviously a back story to Alex Cohen. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex Jones

    Alex Cohen is back and in another enthralling episode in this outstanding series of gangster thrillers from Leopold Borstinski. In Cuban Heel, Borstinkski transports the reader to the 1950s and Alex and close friend Meyer Lansky are in Cuba, trying to get in early and make some really serious Gelt, setting up hotels and casinos for US Tourists with money to burn. Corruption is rife and with dastardly politicians who want to line their pockets, the boys manage to get down and dirty very quickly. Wi Alex Cohen is back and in another enthralling episode in this outstanding series of gangster thrillers from Leopold Borstinski. In Cuban Heel, Borstinkski transports the reader to the 1950s and Alex and close friend Meyer Lansky are in Cuba, trying to get in early and make some really serious Gelt, setting up hotels and casinos for US Tourists with money to burn. Corruption is rife and with dastardly politicians who want to line their pockets, the boys manage to get down and dirty very quickly. With the Murder Corporation no longer running, Alex is still taking contracts but he seems to be maturing and less of a wild card. Thinking about his family and his future in a way we haven’t seen from Alex before and it’s an intriguing character development in a protagonist who often I hate to love. The addition of real life people and events make these stories feel so authentic, make you think these things could actually have taken place, and Borstinski expertly blends fact and fiction with great skill as he integrates Alex into many famous scenes. Action packed and fast paced stories that are genuinely a joy to read and the series has quickly become one of my favourites as I’ve followed from book 1 with damppebbles tours. An exciting, thrilling tale and an absolutely cracking addition to this stunning saga. As usual I’m already waiting for more! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    An amazing book with plenty of suspense to keep you intrigued. Gangsters who have to decide which way to go. Alex is a definite strong character that makes the book what it is.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Underwood

    Another fabulous and gripping installment in this fascinating series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne Carty

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patrice Gotting - #prdgreads

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eva Canitano

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roelia

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zoé-Lee O'Farrell

  26. 5 out of 5

    Esther

  27. 5 out of 5

    richard barton

  28. 5 out of 5

    Coleena

  29. 5 out of 5

    Walter McCabe

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