When an author is asked to help the police with the investigation into a double murder by identifying occult symbols, which had been carved into the victims, he is plunged into nightmare and forced to go on the run. Hunted by law and a powerful cult, he has to stay one step ahead to survive.
None of the blurred faces responded. Malcolm tried to wipe the sleep from his eyes but his arms wouldn’t move. He tensed the muscles in his arms and opened and closed his fingers repeatedly. Everything was working, so there was another reason why his limbs wouldn’t move. He looked down but his neck was stiff and trying to move it was painful. His head wouldn’t move. From the position he was sitting in, he could tell that he was in a chair. It had arms and a high back but he could feel ridges of cold metal beneath his skin, which seemed odd.
“What the fuck is going on?” he mumbled, realising that his arms were tied to the chair. The sickly smell of incense drifted to his nostrils and tendrils of smoke from the candles hung lazily in the air. “Hey, has anyone got a joint on the go?” Malcolm joked. His voice was still thick and slurred. He couldn’t see the edges of the room; the darkness beyond the candlelight was impenetrable. The flickering yellow glow couldn’t illuminate more than a few yards from the flame. The incense was making him feel nauseous. There was something else in the air that seemed familiar. It reminded him of the hot summer days of his youth when the local council workers went on strike and refused to empty the bins; black refuse sacks were piled high on the streets and maggot-riddled food spilled out of them where dogs and rats had ripped them open. It was the smell of rotting meat. As his senses sharpened, he realised that he may be stoned at a party full of strangers, but something told him that he wasn’t. His instincts told him that something was wrong – very wrong.
He looked to the only face that was familiar. His mouth was dry and his tongue felt furry as he spoke. “Hey, Janine, sorry I blanked out. Where are we?”
“My name is not Janine.”
I am Conrad Jones a 50-year-old Author, originally from a sleepy green-belt called Tarbock Green, which is situated on the outskirts of Liverpool. I spent a number of years 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 on 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 17th novel, SHADOWS, 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.