The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow

My Don Winslow obsession continues with Kings of Cool. This is a prequel to Savages which I previewed at an earlier date. I wish I had read this one first because I think my opinion would have been more favorable towards Savages.

This time, the story goes back in time to the early 1970’s and follows the exploits of Chon’s father, Ben’s mother and father and O’s mother, all who were the first Association to set up the importation and dealing of drugs in Orange County.

I loved the time period, the story made a lot more sense to me and it certainly explained how Ben, Chon and O came to be and the influences they had on them growing up. It made me more empathetic to all three of the younger characters.

The early days cover the time from about 1970 up into the 80’s and currently. Ben, Chon and O are just getting their enterprises and their reputations established and unbeknownst to them, are in direct competition with their parents Association.

The parents have no idea who the new players in the game are but want them taken out. As the story goes back and forth, Ben, Chon, O and their parents make and break alliances, get involved with corrupt cops and unfold the secrets of the past that inform the younger players about how and why it was done.

I actually enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. As I said, had I read this first, I would have had a much better outlook on Savages. Damn you Don Winslow!


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