Never Play Another Man’s Game, Mike Knowles (ECW Press)

knowles

A last-name-only professional crook signs on for an armored-car robbery despite his finely honed instincts, buying into the sob story of an old acquaintance. Winding up on the wrong end of a double-cross, he goes after his so-called partners with a vengeance. No, this isn’t a previously unknown Parker novel. It’s a new thriller about Wilson, Canada’s (sort-of) answer to Donald Westlake’s wrong-side-of-the-law hero. The novel is brutal and briskly paced, written in tough-guy tones (“I had pissed off too many people and pulled too many triggers to think that there was anyone out there who just wanted to catch up,” Wilson tells us), and a nice mixture of character and action. Guaranteed to appeal to fans of the previous three Wilson novels, which ECW has reissued in The Wilson Mystery Omnibus (2012).

This review originally appeared in Booklist, April 2012

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