Would you buy a used book from this man?

Mark wants you, yes he does, covered in jam...I did. Well, not a used one, a new one. John Harvey's DARKNESS & LIGHT quotes Mr Billingham on the cover: 'Gripping and heartbreaking in equal measure, this is a must read' Never mind the fact that Mount To Be Read already supports it's own colony of alpine goats and yodelling yetis, off I go, like a good little consumer and add another boulder to the pile. I've only read one of Mr Harvey's books: FLESH AND BLOOD, and enjoyed it immensely. Coincidentally, it's also the February Book Of The Month over at the Billingham Talk Zone Book Club.

And it's not as if one can actually trust this Billingham bloke. After all, when BROKEN SKIN is unleashed upon a cold and uncaring world it will have his quote 'Crime fiction of the highest order' tattooed upon its manly chest. Like some sort of deranged sailor. Popeye: he was deranged. And I'm pretty sure Olive Oil was on drugs too. What sort of bastard parent calls their daughter Olive, when their last name's 'Oil'? Daphne, Susan, Irene, but not 'Olive'. That's just cruel. You know your kid's going to get mercilessly picked on in school. Not surprising she ended up with some freak with huge forearms (and we all KNOW how he got those... filthy beast).

Speaking of blurbs, Book Number The Third is also going out the door with 'MacBride pulls off the remarkable feat of creating a fictional Aberdeen even more hostile and foreboding than the real thing' on it, courtesy of one Mr Christopher Brookmyre. Which continues his unrequited love affair with the Granite City.

I felt too embarrassed to ask Saint Val of McDermid for a quote this time. After all, she's had to suffer the indignity of being associated with Book Number The First and Second. It would have been cruel to make her read Number The Third as well. Plus it gets a bit dirty in places, and I'm sure Val's far too much of a lady to read things like that.

But I have to say that one of the best blurbs I've ever seen is also on that John Harvey book: 'If Harvey gets any better, the rest of us may have to kill him' Reginald Hill. How cool is that? Well, not taken literally, obviously. I mean who'd want to be hunted down and murdered by a pack of incensed -- and probably drunk -- crime-writers?

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