If Burning Your Own presented the aftermath of the time--a few years earlier--described in The International (which was a real hotel in Belfast)--this novel takes a less frantic approach to revealing the city's soul. Fat Lad tries more obviously to capture the unpredicatability; Number 5, his most recent work, offers a more mature, steadily microcosmic view over the past half-century. Here, in a story based loosely on Peter Ward, in 1966 reckoned the second victim of "the troubles," Patterson limns the sectarian divide and also, more to the point/pint, Belfast's shared joys and sorrows. Sounds predictable and perhaps cliched, yes, but read this, and see how Patterson transcends predictablity. He may not have garnered the attention of Robert MacLiam Wilson with his boisterous louts Ripley Bogle and those from Eureka Street, but Patterson may prove better equipped with the stamina to outlast his brasher competitors Colin Bateman and MacL-W, as his narrative foregoes glitz or shenanigans for a a deeper psychological resonance.