Bateman is a core member of the new breed of crime writers for whom mordant wit and caustic social observation are as important as the mechanics of crime. The experience of reading one of his books is uniquely bracing. Bateman first made a mark with Divorcing Jack in 1994, a bizarre and hilarious riff on John Buchan, filtered through a Roddy Doyle-like low-life milieu. This paranoid black comedy was topped by Cycle of Violence, which had the chutzpah to deal with the Troubles as part of a hugely entertaining novel. In 1996, Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men lacked the invention of the earlier work, but still diverted in its picture of the New York fight game.
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