11 August 2007

Falls the Shadow. Mark Timlin. 1995.

Mark Timlin. FALLS THE SHADOW. Headline, London, 1995.

Current Selling Prices
$200 -$320 /£100-£160

South London Noir featuring the footloose Sharman. Absolutely unfindable. A paperback--I am not sure that a hardback was issued. Mark Timlin, a prolific many -named writer has been at it for 20 years and produced over 30 books. Other names include Johnny Angelo (Groupies 1&2), Jim Ballantyne, Tony Williams, Martin Milk and Holly Delatour. He is best known for his Nick Sharman thrillers (pic below) of which the Arena critic said: ' "Full of cars, girls, guns, strung out along the high sierras of Brixton and Battersea, the Elephant and the North Peckham Estate, all those jewels in the crown they call Sarf London." Loaded called him 'Well fucking hard.' I say this book is well hard to find but of course could be reprinted. The title is possibly from well hard poet TS Eliot's 'The Hollow Men': 'Between the idea/ And the reality / Between the motion/And the act/Falls the Shadow...' Timlin used to work in the rock and roll industry as a roadie for T-Rex and The Who and occasionally uses the rock world as a background. The charismatic Clive Owen played his tec Sharman in a TV series in 1996. The plot is summed up on a Sharman website thus:
'...Sharman has decided to knock being a barman on the head... He manages to get his office back, redecorated and decides to start up the PI business again. He is first job is to find a missing dog, not to hard but this is Sharman. He is also hired by Sunset Radio to find out who is sending turds to one of their presenters. Prime suspect is Sector 88, a gang of Nazis. The presenter Peter Day is also getting calls from a bloke called John, now is he just an obsessive fan? Chas makes an appearance in this one. This is one of best of the books, and for once Sharman solves the case by detecting rather than by asking questions and waiting to see who slaps him first.

VALUE? Not really known but Timlin, so far, is more read than collected and his highest prices are only up to about 60 quid. However a book as difficult as this could double that. A reissue could mean all bets are off. [ W/Q *** ]

STOP PRESS. The entry above was written in March 2007, since then a slightly lousy paperback copy has turned up on Amazon UK at a gouging £300, described thus: '... Rare copy of this title. An ex-library copy so contains stickers on inside back cover and one of pre-story pages. Apart from this in excellent condition.' In my opinion an ex library copy of a paperback is always very nasty and can never be called 'excellent' except in the callow patter of an amateur bookseller (('pre-story' - what's that all about?.) However the price gives the book a marker and a decent copy would probably now sell against it at £150 (it's a paperback) close to my original guesstimate. Rave on.

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