The title, the terrorist and the punch-drunk pugilist.Fat Boy McMaster is a hopeless heavyweight boxer, who has somehow managed to become champion of Ireland. His devious manager succeeds in setting up a gigantic payday (largely for himself, admittedly) - a St Patrick's Day fight in New York against Mike Tyson - and he wants journalist Dan Starkey to write a book on it. Starkey's as yet unsuccessful efforts to persuade wife Patricia to give their marriage another try are put on hold, and he boards a plane to the Big Apple with McMaster and his deeply suspect entourage. Once there McMaster's wife is kidnapped, almost every interest group is outraged, the Champ is chased all over town by gunmen of varying allegiance, Starkey's marriage is saved - and there's the Big Fight to consider too...
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Bateman was a journalist in Northern Ireland before becoming a full-time writer. All of his novels have been critically acclaimed, and he has written the screenplays for the feature films DIVORCING JACK, CROSSMAHEART and WILD ABOUT HARRY. He lives in Ireland with his family.From Kirkus Reviews:
Knockabout journalist Dan Starkey leaves the mean streets of Belfast for a season of even more violent insanity in the world of professional boxing. Meet Bobby ``Fat Boy'' McMaster, the heavyweight champ of Ireland. Haven't heard of him? That's just the reason Bobby's mentor, Geordie McClean, needs to hire Starkey to do public relations for Bobby's upcoming world championship bout with Mike Tyson (!) and write a book about it all after the champ's given Bobby, a wee sweetie who reads novels and has a sly sense of humor, a decent burial in New York. It looks like a great chance for Starkey to make some money and get out of the war zone he covered so hilariously in Divorcing Jack (1995) while enjoying a much-needed second honeymoon with his estranged wife Patricia. But Patricia, pregnant by her married lover, isn't about to book passage for the New World, so Starkey packs a few clean shirts and takes off with Bobby's entourage for the Big Apple, where Bobby will run rings around Tyson in a joint press conference and immediately incur the wrath of the Sons of Muhammed, a splinter group as violent as the Provos but a lot more inept. Then Bobby's wife Mary is kidnapped, presumably by the Sons of Muhammed, and Starkey is dragged into the fray by two heavyweight ex-NYPD detectives who dwarf even the Fat Boy. But how can Starkey really be sure that it's the Sons who are behind the snatch, when Bobby, training in Provincetown, has also managed to antagonize the gay community, the IRA, and the ferocious sparring partner who keeps threatening to end his career before he even makes it into the ring with Tyson? More relaxed and less wildly funny than Divorcing Jack or Cycle of Violence (1996)--but then that's what you'd expect when the brutality is only a game. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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