Saturday, February 19, 2011

Booklist Review of In Plain Sight

Wilson, the Mob enforcer who appeared in Darwin’s Nightmare (2008) and Grinder (2009), is not a happy man. No surprise there—he’s always been a bit of a glass-half-empty kind of guy—but this time he has got a good reason. Some crooked cops are using him as a lure to nab some very bad people, and Wilson can think of only one way out of the predicament: to pit the cops and their prey against each other, letting them take each other out. Sounds like a good plan, but can he pull it off and somehow manage to stay alive? Knowles’ novels echo writers who have come before him—Richard Stark, for example, or Jim Thompson—but they’re not imitations. Wilson isn’t Stark’s Parker, and the author’s bare-bones prose doesn’t sound like Thompson’s. And the setting certainly freshens up the proceedings, too: you don’t see a lot of noirish crime dramas set in Hamilton, Ontario. For noir fans, a must-read. --David Pitt


  1. Just finished this little gem of pulp hard boiled anti-hero fiction and couldn't put it down. Nice work Mr Knowles. I am in my late 50s and read everything I can get my hands on, and then some, and have done so since I was 5. I know my fiction. Work like this is rare indeed with very few contradictions and a style you could cut the air with. Most impressive and, no let down at the end. I will be on the lookout for more of your work, you thug you.

  2. I appreciate the very kind words, Steve. I am really glad you liked the book and also really impressed that you somehow found the blog. I think you are guest number three (there really should be some kind of prize for that).

  3. Hey Mike,

    Found Grinder at the Fonthill library and devoured it. I'm reading In Plain Sight right now. Awesome. Simply awesome. I was reading Richard Stark to get some sense of the no-nonsense prose, but your books have that and a setting I can relate to...I worked in the hammer for nearly five years, and not uptown...hillyard st. Anyways, I just wanted to say that your work is truly inspirational, and kept me motivated as I work to complete my next book. Take care and I hope you keep cranking them out...I'll be watching for them!