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Very little was known about him, although it was said he was Turkish, that he had been born in Instanbul, the son of a butcher, and that when he was nine he blew up his school with a bomb made in chemistry class when he was given a detention for being late

—Conrad's first introduction and background

Conrad is a secondary antagonist in the novel Skeleton Key.[2]


Conrad serves as the personal henchman of General Alexei Sarov in Skeloton Key.[1][2]


He is short and has long hair on one side of his head, but is bald on the other. He has at least thirty metal pins in his body, a metal wire in his jaw and a metal plate in his skull. He has uneven legs and walks with a limp. His face is also lopsided. One of his eyes is permanately bloodshot.[1]

The reason for his appearance is that he was once carrying bomb and it exploded while he was still holding it. He was "re-assembled" by a group of Albanian doctors and was considered to be a "scientific miracle."[2]

Role in Series

Skeleton Key

Conrad aids Sarov in his plans and carries out certain tasks for him, such as blowing up the Salesman after Sarov purchases a nuclear bomb from him, in order to cover any tracks. However, whereas Sarov is fond of Alex and is keen to adopt him, Conrad takes a particular dislike to the boy and tries to kill him at one point by feeding him into a crushing machine. Near the end of the novel, Conrad fights Alex near Murmansk and easily overwhelms the boy, coming close to killing him. However, due to all the metal in his body, he becomes attached to a large electromagnet (used to move Sarov's nuclear bomb) and he slams into it with force, breaking his back. Alex then moves the magnet over the sea and drops Conrad's lifeless body into the water, where he immediately sinks, never to be seen again (Where Alex commented:"What an attractive man.").[1][2]


Conrad is a crack shot and a powerful assassin. He is a master of the shadows and is very elusive. He is also a capable engineer, with a full understanding of mechanisms of certain machinery and of the anatomy of the Salesman's ship.

He is also a brutal warrior and master combatant, with an extremely aggressive fighting style. He is very athletic and extremely flexible, his only vice being his metal insides. It can be assumed that he did his work for the Turkish Secret Service, which led to his incident with a bomb.


Conrad is cruel, psychotic, callous and sly, as well as being highly intelligent. He has the personality of an insane but perfect assassin. With a brutal and nasty side, Conrad enjoys other people's suffering, maybe even General Sarov's, and relishes in agony and insanity.


  • Conrad's name is a pun on the word "comrade."[citation needed]