Never Play Another Man’s Game

Mike Knowles. ECW (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-77041-097-8

A daring robbery leads to plenty of bloodshed in Knowles’s hard-hitting fourth caper featuring the Hamilton, Ont., professional thief and former mob enforcer known only as Wilson (after 2010’s In Plain Sight). When confidence woman Ruby Chu tries to persuade Wilson to help her obviously inept son, Rick, and Rick’s friend and fellow amateur, Franky, pull off an armored car heist, Wilson reluctantly agrees, but only after casing the job and bringing in professional help in the form of tough biker Dave Book. Wilson’s beautifully engineered plan doesn’t account for a double-cross that leaves Dave wounded and Wilson and Dave without their share of the loot. Wilson’s vengeful route to the double-crossers and the money leads through a mob boss, Dave’s biker buddies, and an armed showdown. Wilson can take his place alongside Richard Stark’s Parker as a ruthlessly efficient bad guy with an ingenious ability to escape tricky situations. (May)