So how bad does it have to be before you give up? Here is the opening paragraph of a thriller I picked up today: “The archbishop’s men fled into the shadows of the lower valley. Behind them, atop the winter pass, horses screamed, arrow-bit and cleaved. Men shouted, cried, and roared. The clash of steel rang as silvery as a chapel’s bells.” Can it possibly get worse? Atop the Cite de l’Ecrit I too could be arrow-bit and cleaved for suggesting that this is truly terrible. Admittedly it is from a book that sounds from the blurb as if it is another Dan Brown type yawn. Personally I blame Umberto Eco who’s Name of the Rose started the whole thing off – but he could at least write and the rest really are pale imitations.