It seems morally insensitive to describe such a violent book as an immensely soothing read, but I've just finished The Mercy Seat by Martyn Waites and really, really liked it. It has the quality that all my favorite noir has, which is to say that you actually (desperately) care about the characters in spite of their stupid self-destructive impulses; and the Newcastle settings are beautifully well done. There are a few writing things I might quibble with--more point-of-view characters than I entirely approve of, and also a few instances of the thing I've always disliked but now since reading Samuel R. Delany's brilliant and rather indispensable book About Writing actually have a name for, the false flashback, where you start with a present moment and then go back to explain how the characters got there (it's a "false" flashback rather than a real one because there's no reason for it other than the writer not having really decided where the scene needs to start).
But seriously, this is like having a whole new Ian Rankin to get to know, this guy is a great writer and the book deserves to have big success. I got the recommendation from the excellent Cathi Unsworth whose first novel The Not Knowing I recently read and loved; and then the book itself miraculously turned up in the mail from my book-providing friend EP, I still can't remember if I asked him for it or he just read my mind. Very good stuff, in any case.