Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Kingdom of Johnny Cool

The Kingdom of Johnny Cool by John McPartland.  Mafia Grand Master, Giovanetti “Johnny Cool” Colini, retired and living in Italy, wants even more power from the mob in America. Capturing the bandit, Guiliano, known as the King of the Hills, he trains the killer for two years, teaching him everything he needed to know about the Mafia organization in America, telling Guiliano he will be his son, and inherit his power and wealth after killing certain men, and taking control of the mob in America. Taking the name of Johnny Cool, Guiliano sets up his plans upon reaching America. I read this when it was first released in 1959, then saw the movie version in the early 1960s, starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Henry Silva. Both were great. McPartland wrote novels featuring tough men, like Tokyo Doll and Affair In Tokyo. Johnny Cool is also a tough man. Guiliano had been a killer bandit in the Italian hills, and he brings his fierce code to America to wrest control of the Mafia leadership. The ending is brutal, as McPartland often makes his stories. The movie was kept close to the paperback story, as well as I remember it.

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