Crime 101: A Novella ~ by Don Winslow

It seems that Winslow has changed again and this time he’s gone from a series of door-stopping tomes and the stuff of serious criminal thrillers to novellas of various everything including lengths.They’ve been put together into one volume called Broken and when I got Crime 101 I knew Broken existed, it was even on my Wish List, but I didn’t know Crime 101 was included in it.  So I got Crime 101 on its own.  It might have convinced me to get the full volume of Broken.  We’ll see.  

Crime 101: a Novella 
By Don Winslow

2022 /
Read by Ray Porter. 2h 5m
Rating A / novella

Anyway, Crime 101 takes place along California US Highway 101 (aka Pacific Coast Highway), mostly from Pismo Beach south but there is some venturing up north. But “Crime 101” is also what the jewel thief calls the set of rules he’s made up to keep himself out of trouble, like getting busted or dead. He’s been doing this awhile so the rules apparently work.

“There are no buts – there are only the basics.  Crime 101.”  

“There’s a word for people who believe in coincidences.  Defendant.” 

It seems over the course of many years quite a number of jewel heists have occurred around Highway 101, but they’ve been separated by time, distance, enforcement jurisdictions, retail dealers, couriers and even insurance companies. It seems that only California Highway 101 connects the robberies. This old and gorgeous highway goes all the way from south of San Diego (where it’s US 101) to Grant’s Pass Oregon where it becomes US 101 again) but the old crimes played out from Big Sur south.

Although it’s widely believed this is the handiwork of a Colombian cartel, Lou Lubesnick, a cop working out of San Diego has the feeling they’re they work of one man, a loner jewel thief. And Lou is out to get him. –

So this story deals with what could  be the last job of a guy named Davis, the lone-wolf jewel thief. But it’s quite risky as well as being a really big job. And he now has Lou Lubesnick, a divorcing cop from San Diego, tailing him because the case and cases caught his attention.   

The narrative mostly alternates between Davis the thief and Lou the cop but there are others involved. Money, the go-between, is definitely an interested party and has his “people” involved as couriers and so forth. Plus there’s Sharon, an insurance broker, because jewel thieves can’t really work totally solo. Even if the job is successful, they’ll be stuck with nice jewels and nowhere to put them and no where to hide.  

So Lou the cop has his hands full tracking all this down and finding out what’s going on and how to nab Davis.  Reading 101; pay attention. Yes – I’m getting Broken. “Crime 101” is only 1 of 5 or 6 stories/novellas.  

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