Another day, another blog tour. Today I’m one of the designated stops on the blog tour for Hunting Angels Diaries by Conrad Jones. This is a box set containing two books A Child for the Devil and Dark Angel. Also on today’s agenda are Have Books, Will Read; Kristin’s Novel Cafe and Everywhere and Nowhere.
There are still a few remaining stops on the tour, here’s where it’s heading next.
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.
I had the pleasure of being on one of Conrad’s recent tours for his novel Shadows so when the opportunity arose to review more of his books I jumped as the chance.
This review has been quite hard to write if I’m honest because I both loved and hated the books in equal measure. There was something about them that just didn’t click with me yet still had me turning the pages to find out how everything played out.
Both books are packed full of graphic violence so if this isn’t your thing then these books maybe aren’t for you. However if you can overcome the gruesome details surrounding ritualistic kills, torture and rape then they could well be two of the most dark and disturbing books you’ve ever read.
The opening chapter of A Child for the Devil did having me wondering if I could carry on reading. I won’t go into too much detail but it involved eyes and considering I have a minor phobia of putting my own contact lenses in I’m very proud of myself for continuing to read on. Luckily after this the book, although still very dark, didn’t have me squirming quite as much as I read it. Don’t get me wrong it was still very sick and not for the faint of heart, but it fits in well with what was happening in the story.
The story itself is unusual in the fact that the author is in fact the main character and at times I did find myself wondering what was real and what was fiction. I also found myself wanting to Google everything he told me to (here’s hoping they don’t come after me next!!).
The character of Conrad Jones wasn’t the most likeable person but I found myself cheering from him as he hunted down the people that were hunting him. My favourite character and the overall star of the book (well the first one) has to be Evie Jones, Conrad’s beloved Staffie. I love her characterisation and was a little sad when she only had a fleeting mention in the second book.
I enjoyed the first book much more than the second. This is mainly due to some minor continuity issues between the two books. That said I would still highly recommend these books. If you enjoy dark, disturbing books with unexpected twists that will totally mess with your head and have you questioning reality, then this series is perfect.
Many thanks to Conrad and Emma for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!
About the Author
I am Conrad Jones, a fifty-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 manager 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.
On March 20th, 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 enigmatic 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 eleven-week tour of the USA. The day before I boarded the plane, Madeleine McCann 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.
The Child Taker was the 6th book in the Soft Target Series but it also became the first book in the Detective Alec Ramsay Series when I signed a three-book deal with London based publishers, Thames River Press. The series is now seven books long with an average of 4.8 stars from over 2000 reviews. The first two books are always free with over 1100 5-star reviews.
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.
Conrad is the author of seventeen novels, eight author guides and two biographies. He has three series
- The Detective Alec Ramsay Series; seven books Gritty Crime Thrillers
- The Soft Target Series; Gritty Thrillers six books (Reacher Style)
- The Hunting Angels Diaries; three books Horror Thrillers
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