Rocks Beat Paper: A Wilson Mystery – Mike Knowles

(Reviewed by JD Jung)


“You think winning should make you feel like you want to go to Disneyland…That place is for quarterbacks who win games with rules and referees. That isn’t any kind of place for people like us. The games we play are never fair and they never end clean. They just end.”

That is from our narrator, Wilson, the “set up guy” for heists, who has an excellent reputation for what he does. This upcoming diamond heist at a jewelry store has the potential to make millions. When presented with the opportunity, he foresaw problems, but not all the right ones.

Yes, he believed that this job had too many people. Every man you add to a job adds baggage. With various personalities and motives, a lot can go wrong. That should have done more than raise red flags.

How can you be sure that you can trust the client and the crew? Is the essential information you receive from the start, honest and accurate?

The plot-driven Rock Beats Paper is full of so many unexpected twists and keeps the reader hooked at every turn. While it is short on character development, surprisingly it doesn’t take away from the story at all. It seems that Wilson is an unemotional, hardened loner, but I really didn’t think about it until I finished the book.

Though Rock Beats Paper is not the first in the Wilson mystery series, it is the first that I have read. I don’t feel that I was at a disadvantage even if I didn’t learn much about Wilson’s past.

Now I want to read earlier books in the series. Even if I don’t learn more about how he got to be the way he is, it will be well worth it if the story is as exciting as this one.

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