I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Conrad Jones’ latest novel, “The Anglesey Murders”. A huge thanks to the author and Sarah over at BookOnTheBrightSide for inviting me to take part.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
DI Alan Williams is called to the recovery of two bodies from the sea at Trearddur Bay, during a storm. The lifeboat crew suspect they’re fishermen, washed away by a wave but they’re wrong. Alan and his detective sergeant, Kim Davies, realise the men were beaten and tied together before they entered the water. Two miles along the headland at Porth Dafarch, a third victim is found but there are no obvious links. As the number of victims increases, a major investigation team battles to unravel a deadly puzzle which, appears to have links to a series of historic murders from the 90’s.
In 1995, Peter Moore owned and operated the cinema in Holyhead. It is thought he assaulted over 40 men and he was arrested and charged with four murders, which he’d committed in as many months. He was jailed for life in 1996 and is still the only recorded Welsh serial killer. Fast forward to today and Detective Inspector Alan Williams is investigating a series of murders with uncanny similarities to the Peter Moore attacks. Is there a copycat on the loose or are the murders connected to the local underworld, which controls the supply of narcotics across North Wales and the North West? Finding a motive, is the challenge he might not win. ALL THE TIME THEY’RE TRACKING THE KILLER, THE KILLER IS STALKING THEM…
Ok so starting this at midnight wasn’t my smartest move! I didn’t want to have to put it down to sleep! That prologue, that hook! Jesus!!
The atmospheric setting, the wind and the rain providing a sense of desolation and impending disaster. The Welsh backdrop lending itself perfectly to this book, I was almost pulling a coat up round my shoulders and a scarf over my head to protect me from the elements as DI Alan Williams and DS Kim Davies are called in to investigate the strange discovery of two men found in very strange circumstances in the water. While waiting for the bodies to be brought to shore, another body is called in. An impressive body count set the scene for this fast-paced thriller of a read!
The chapters where we are in the mind of the killer are totally disturbing. I did find them a little bit busy at times, with lots of internal dialogue that slowed down the pace slightly. But it could also work the opposite way as it being reflective of the chaotic state of the killer’s mind. As the character is slowly revealed it all becomes a little clearer and so very deliciously dark!
Alan Williams and Kim Davies work well together as an investigative team. Their characters both gel together well with the author has really capturing the connectedness between both detectives. He has drawn an authentic working relationship between both of them. I really warmed to Kim, her dry sense of humour appealing to me. Alan was an intriguing character, I loved his relationship with his sons, the challenges they posed to his role as a detective and his pragmatic outlook on life. The everyday family humour warmed me to him Both characters were relatable and I found myself totally engaged with them, down to earth, realistic and I loved how both characters worked together.
The author provides an excellent sense of place – I have never visited the area of Wales he talks about but he brought it to life for me.
Organised crime, drugs and historical serial killings all feature in a tense and dramatic plot. It’s perfectly paced with just the right balance between drama and development of the story. Little snippets of the lives of the key characters were slowly drip fed, allowing me to get to know them over the course of the book.
The Anglesey Murders is a perfect start to what I hope is going to be a new police procedural series from Conrad Jones.
Don’t forget to check what the other bloggers are saying:
The Anglesey Murders is available to purchase from:
About the author:
Conrad Jones a 52-year-old Author, living in Holyhead, Anglesey, which I class as my home, before starting a career as a trainee manger with McDonalds Restaurants in 1989. I worked in management at McDonalds Restaurants Ltd from 1989-2002, working my way up to Business Consultant (area manager) working in the corporate and franchised departments.
In March 1993 I was managing the Restaurant in Warrington`s Bridge St when two Irish Republican Army bombs exploded directly outside the store, resulting in the death of two young boys and many casualties. Along with hundreds of other people there that day I was deeply affected by the attack, which led to a long-term interest in the motivation and mind set of criminal gangs. I began to read anything crime related that I could get my hands on.
I link this experience with the desire to write books on the subject, which came much later due to an unusual set of circumstances. Because of that experience my early novels follow the adventures of an elite counter terrorist unit, The Terrorist Task Force, and their leader, John Tankersley, or `Tank`and they are the Soft Target Series, which have been described by a reviewer as ‘Reacher on steroids’.
I had no intentions of writing until 2007, when I set off on an 11-week tour of the USA. The Day before I boarded the plane, Madeleine Mcann disappeared and all through the holiday I followed the American news reports which had little or no information about her. I didn’t realise it at the time, but the terrible kidnap would inspire my book, The Child Taker years later. During that trip, I received news that my house had been burgled and my work van and equipment were stolen. That summer was the year when York and Tewksbury were flooded by a deluge and insurance companies were swamped with claims. They informed me that they couldn’t do anything for weeks and that returning home would be a wasted journey. Rendered unemployed on a beach in Clearwater, Florida, I decided to begin my first book, Soft Target. I have never stopped writing since. I have recently completed my 20th novel, The Journey, something that never would have happened but for that burglary and my experiences in Warrington.
As far as my favourite series ever, it has to be James Herbert’s, The Rats trilogy. The first book did for me what school books couldn’t. It fascinated me, triggered my imagination and gave me the hunger to want to read more. I waited years for the second book, The Lair, and Domain, the third book to come out and they were amazing. Domain is one of the best books I have ever read. In later years, Lee Child, especially the early books, has kept me hypnotised on my sunbed on holiday as has Michael Connelley and his Harry Bosch Series.