Wooooo hoooooo!!! I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for What Happened To Rachel? the latest in the Anglesey Murders series from Conrad Jones.
Many thanks to the amazing Sarah Hardy of Book On The Bright Side Publicity for inviting me on the blog tour and for my e-copy of What Happened To Rachel?
Frightening, scarily real, brutal but addictive! A standalone novel by a gifted gritty crime thriller writer.
A gritty and atmospheric thriller with more twists and turns than a hangman’s knot.
Rachel Evans, a selfie queen and social media superstar went to school and never came home. DI Alan Williams and his team launch a desperate investigation to find her. As the country is plunged into lockdown, the price of narcotics skyrockets, causing friction between rival dealers. As the bodycount rises, the investigation focuses on several teenagers, who are victims of Criminal Exploitation, used by organised crime families to sell drugs in rural areas. Was Rachel involved or was her disappearance linked to something much darker?
What Did I Think?
Last year I read and loved Conrad Jones’ The Journey and had been wanted to dip my toes into his crime fiction for ages. So I took my first foray in to the world of the Anglesey Murders with book 6 (I can hear the horrified gasps from some of you) but oh and what a choice I made!
The backdrop to Rachel’s disappeance is so so topical with the closure of schools due to COVID-19. The island is going into lockdown which I’ll admit, I’ve found adjusting to lockdown difficult but the inhabitants of Anglesey are finding…. interesting… to say the least!
As the story went on, this wasn’t the only thread I needed to keep track of. No siree, there were two investigations intertwined on the Welsh island. County line drug dealing is rife and Anglesey is getting it from the city of the Beatles. The more I found out about this little (not so little) set-up and the people involved, I questioned whether Rachel was out of her depth. These scousers are definitely not to be messed with!!
Given I’ve not read any of the previous books, I seriously enjoyed What Happened To Rachel? The investigation was paced and grabbed my attention. I was perplexed as to really what happened to this pouting social media girl! As the investigation went in, I wandered down so many theories that were totally rabbit holes, I gave up trying to fathom out where Jones was leading me. I was led a merry dance but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Conrad Jones knows how to write a crime thriller!
Who is Conrad Jones?
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 Connelly and his Harry Bosch Series.