This beautifully plotted, page-turning new novel confirms all the promise of Colin Bateman's Divorcing Jack without restraining his antic blend of sinister violence and sharp, side-splitting dialogue. Cycle of Violence, written with appealing verve and Colin Bateman's unique blend of sinister violence and side-splitting dialogue, is a thrill ride through Belfast's most terrifying neighborhood with Miller, Ulster's wisecracking, bicycling journalist and his ""cycle of violence."" Miller's ever-so-smart aleck mouth has earned him a disciplinary transfer from his downtown Belfast beat to Crossmaheart, a beleaguered and depressed outpost where the preferred response to murder is a hilarious one-liner. Miller is replacing a reporter who has disappeared-to no one's great surprise in this postterrorist ghetto full of leftover guns, plentiful whiskey, and a secret more sordid than the locals' resumes of political ""activism."" Crossmaheart is a notoriously fatal place in which to ask questions, and Miller is determined to forgo his professional curiosity, to compromise his journalist's integrity in the interest of staying live. He is particularly intent on keeping himself clear of whatever involvements caused the job opening at the Crossmaheart Chronicle in the first place. But once he falls for his predecessor's troubled girlfriend, Marie-a former Catholic schoolgirl to complement Miller's own Protestant heritage-his plan begins to fall apart. Darkly funny, romantic, disturbing, and suspenseful, Cycle of Violence confirms all the promise of Bateman's prizewinning debut, Divorcing Jack.