“Stiffed is a massively enjoyable, fast-moving and very funny black comedy of errors that comes across like Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry directed by the Coen Brothers.” – Paul D. Brazill author of Guns Of Brixton, Gumshoe, 13 Shots Of Noir.
Released today from Snubnose Press, Stiffed by Rob Kitchin is the story of Tadhg Maguire, He wakes to find himself spooning a dead man. The stiff is Tony Marino, lieutenant to mobster Aldo Pirelli. It doesn’t matter how the local enforcer ended up between Tadhg’s sheets, Pirelli is liable to leap to the wrong conclusion and demand rough justice.
The right thing to do would be to call the cops.
The sensible thing to do would be to disappear. Forever.
The only other option is to get rid of the body and pretend it was never there. No body, no crime.
What he needs is a couple of friends to help dispose of the heavy corpse. Little do Tadhg’s friends know what kind of reward they’ll receive for their selfless act – threatened, chased, shot at, and kidnapped with demands to return a million dollars they don’t possess.
By mid-afternoon Tadhg is the most wanted man in America. Not bad for someone who’d never previously had so much as parking ticket.
If he survives the day he’s resigned to serving time, but not before he saves his friends from the same fate.
Available now at Amazon, coming soon everywhere.
Here’s a little snippet to whet your appetite.
I slowly drift back into consciousness. An incendiary bomb has been detonated in my skull. All my neurons are alive, but are dripping in phosphorous. My balls are throbbing like the engine of a small boat and my bladder is fit to burst.
‘What the …’ I mutter to myself, wondering what I’m doing lying prone on the floor.
Then the red sea parts and I have a moment of clarity tinged with the fuzzy fringe of a resplendent headache.
I work my way onto my knees and look across the bed. Dead Man is still laying there, his back to me. How can someone be so hairy? If you threw him at a Velcro wall he’d have to be cut free. I glance round, but there’s no sign of Kate. The bedroom door is wide open and the house is silent.
The reality of the situation starts to hit home.
There’s a man in my bed.
A dead man.
Looking like an extra from a particularly bloody CSI scene.
How the hell did a dead man end up in my bed?
This isn’t happening. It must be a bad dream. A nightmare. Too much cheese on last night’s pizza.
I close my eyes and lower myself gingerly back to the floor. If I force myself awake it’ll all revert to normal. I just need to find a way to jam my mental projector and step out of the theater into consciousness. How do you wake yourself from a nightmare in which you’re trapped in a nightmare?
Reluctantly I raise my head again and open my eyes, one hand feeling the golf ball sized lump on my forehead. Dead Man is still there and I suspect I might be awake. This really is a nightmare.
I clamber to my feet, my legs unsteady. A couple of slices of beer soaked pizza are struggling to stay in my stomach.
My thoughts are slow and clunky and painful. There’s a dead man in the bed. I’d been sleeping with a blood soaked, hairy corpse. Kate found us together, cuddled in tight, a tent in my boxers.
I stagger to the door. The house is deathly quiet. I call out her name but there’s no response. She’s fled and who can blame her? I always thought she was a little nuts, but she must think I’m a full-blown psychopath. A dozen bodies buried in the back yard.
How long is it since Kate took flight? Five minutes? Half an hour? When are the police going to arrive? This is going to take a lot of explanation and I have no rational account for the yeti’s presence or his violent death. Not even the semblance of a half-baked story. I don’t even know who the poor bastard is.
I wander round the end of the bed so I can take a peek at Dead Man’s face. I step cautiously up the alley between the closet and mattress. The man has been stabbed at least three times in the chest and once in the neck. The sheet and pillow are soaked in blood. Flecks dot the wall, bed side locker and floorboards.
How the hell could I have not noticed this when I arrived home?
Drunk and blind.
Drunk, blind and stupid.
I’m not blind now. I feel pretty damn sober as well. Stupid … well, yeah, probably. Nothing you can do about genetics and nurturing.
I stare at the face.
Oh, Sweet Jesus.
The Tony Marino. Aldo Pirelli’s right hand man.
Pirelli by name, Pirelli by nature. If you find yourself in his way, he’s liable to flatten you like a tire on a twenty ton truck.