Saturday, November 14, 2009

Winnipeg Free Press Review of Grinder

Wilson, a guy with no first name, is The Grinder (ECW Press, $25, 220 pages), a ghostly underworld fixer who goes off the grid as a P.E.I. tuna fisherman to escape mob infighting in author Mike Knowles' native southern Ontario.

Unearthed by his ├╝ber-nasty former boss and blackmailed with threats against his only friends, Wilson plows through a gaggle of underlings to find out who's grabbed the boss's gangster-wannabe nephews.

There's more mayhem than mystery in this thin sequel to Knowles' 2008 debut, Darwin's Nightmare, and Wilson flunks the sympathetic anti-hero test with his unrelieved brutality.

Still, Grinder displays some nascent storytelling chops and a viable future for the Hamilton schoolteacher.

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