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Heroin, high adventure and Huggies: Starkey's back
on 15 May 2001
Dan Starkey returns again and Colin Bateman makes the most impressive return to form since Ali vs Foreman. Many characters would be outstaying their welcome by now, but Bateman's master of the pithy put-down (generally self-inflicted) is always a pleasure to meet.
The usual preoccupations resurface, but the author is an increasingly deft handler of human emotions and mixes in a fair amount of genuine pathos with the whip-crack humour this time. Gone is the cack-handed dialogue of Empire State or the outlandishness of Maid of The Mist. The plot skips along at a frantic pace, as if trying to outrun a sectarian mob.
Tight and snappy, packed full with the honed and ready wit first seen in Divorcing Jack, an emotional ride as up-and-down as the Antrim Coast Road, this is a superb book to be enjoyed with summer sun.