All Nick wants to do is take his dying father for a perfect father-son weekend in the Scottish Highlands. It’s not much to ask, is it? A log cabin, a roaring fire, a bottle of fine whisky and two days to paper over the cracks in their relationship.
However, Nick didn’t plan on making the trip with a dead neighbour in the back of his car. Or the neighbour’s dog. He really didn’t plan on being pursued by a psychotic female assassin intent on collecting body parts. And he really, really didn’t plan on encountering a platoon of heavily armed mercenaries, or some very hungry boars, or a werewolf.
A Heart in the Right Place – a horror comedy about setting out with the very best intentions and then messing everything up.
A Heart in the Right Place is our new comedy horror novel. It ends up in the Scottish wilderness where Nick and his dad have to fight off evil crooks and mythical monsters. But it starts with a missed parcel and one of those “We’re Sorry We Missed You…” notes from the postman…
“Oz Bingley? Who on earth is Oz Bingley?” Nick asked of no one in particular. There was no one to ask. He was alone in his house.
Which was sort of the point. All morning he’d waited at home for the parcel to arrive. He should have been at work at the ChunkyMunky offices in Birmingham city centre but he’d taken an official duvet morning (they only got three a year) and waited for the parcel he knew was arriving.
He’d paid for next day, timed delivery. An extra twelve pounds it had cost him, but he couldn’t afford to miss this delivery. He’d been on high alert all morning, not daring to put on the radio or turn up the television in case he missed the knock at the door. He even went to the toilet in the dark so the noise of the extractor fan wouldn’t mask a particularly stealthy approach. That had been a mistake, on reflection. He’d been so worried about not wiping properly he’d been completely unable to go. He’d come out, walked past the front door on the way to the kitchen and there it was:
We have a parcel for you…
Sorry we missed you. Your item is:
There was a ticked box.
With your neighbour:
Oz Bingley, 42 Langollen Drive, Brandwood End, Birmingham
Nick fumed. Not as much as he would have done if they had ticked the box for being held at our depot, ready to collect the next working day. And at least it wouldn’t be a repeat of when the postman had left the parcel in your safe place. Said place being his bin. His actual wheelie bin rubbish bin. On bin day.
Nick still fumed.
Being forced to stay in, like a housebound oldster or a sickly child, even for a few hours had driven him near stir crazy. He could have been at work already, trying to fix the shitstorm which was the Kirkwood account. He could be at the gym, lifting weights and making a start on the New Year’s resolution he’d made five months ago. He could be in town buying an apology gift for Abigail. Or just getting drunk and leaving inappropriate and remorseful messages on her voicemail. Anything but waiting for a parcel which was apparently delivered by stealth ninjas.
How had they achieved this in complete silence? Why didn’t they knock the door or ring the bell? Nick went to the door and, looking past his beloved, imported Cadillac on the driveway, scanned the street for signs of the courier. Nothing. Maybe the slip had been there for hours.
He checked the address and crossed the street. Number forty-two was a large, detached house with a big brass knocker on the front door: a gurning lion’s face with a ring in its mouth. He banged it hard as the postman should have done at his house. It made a thunderous racket, which pleased Nick. There was nothing worse than knocking or ringing a door and being unsure whether it could be heard.
The noise set a dog barking inside. Nick listened intently. There was a low whining sound as well. No one came to the door.
He wondered what the appropriate time was to wait before knocking again. Knock too soon and it would appear rude. Wait too long and you were just waiting on someone’s doorstep doing nothing. He counted down from thirty to zero and then waited another minute before knocking again.
The barking dog set off again. He waited. Still nothing.
He looked at the card. Oz Bingley. 42 Langollen Drive.
Nick didn’t know his neighbours well. Tall fences made good neighbours and all that. He tried to recall seeing anyone coming in or out of that house. Was Oz a man’s name? He had a vague recollection an old woman lived there, but he hadn’t seen her for a while. Maybe she’d moved out.
He went back to his house and sat at the window, hoping to see Oz returning from some small task – like posting a letter. He checked the time and turned the TV on. He’d go and check again in an hour, and then he’d have to go into work.
Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of over a dozen books.
The Clovenhoof series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company.
Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.
Social Media Links:
Heide Goody Twitter
Iain Grant Twitter
G I V E A W A Y
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