The Fifth to Die

The Fifth to DieThe Fifth to Die (4MK Thriller, #2) by J.D. Barker
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on July 10th 2018
Pages: 544
ISBN: 0544973976
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“You can’t play God, without being acquainted with the devil.”

This is the second in the 4MK Thriller series. Although this does work as a stand-alone novel, I strongly encourage you to read the first book in the series, “The Fourth Monkey”. Trust me, you will be happy you did and may perhaps even become a HUGE J.D. Barker fan in the process!!! I know I am!

Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer is still on the loose!!!! This guy is seriously playing a mean game of hide and seek! Detective Porter has been called off the hunt to investigate the murder of a missing girl who has been found beneath the ice of Jackson Park Lagoon wearing another missing girls’ clothing. It appears there is another killer in the city. Is this the work of Bishop? Nah, the MO doesn’t fit. But who? Why? How?


Porter just can’t let go of the Bishop case. He is, shall we say, obsessed and keeps looking. He does some digging and, in the process, gets in trouble at work, but he still can’t let it go. A serial killer has alluded him. He can’t let that go. He is going to find Bishop no matter what! Or is he?

So by now, I’m salivating…..

What happens if he finds Bishop? What happens if Bishop finds him first? What happened with the girl found under the ice? Who is the other killer?????

I loved the parts with the other killer and his victims in this book. Man, was he deliciously evil in a twisted-guy-who-creeps-you-out kind of way. He was seriously messed up! While reading I kept wondering “what the heck is he looking for?” and “what is HIS story?” Well, as I kept turning the pages (I read this on a kindle, but you know what I mean!), I learned his story – part of it at least. Color me intrigued.

There are two different story lines going on in this book and it doesn’t appear that they are connected but…. well, as differing story lines go…they often find their way together one way or another! J.D. Barker must have a very creative, imaginative and twisted mind, which I am thankful for! Plus, there is going to be another book in this series. When I got to the last page, I believe my words were “Are you fucking kidding me? Are you SERIOUSLY kidding me? That’s it?????” As frustrating as that last page was, I have to say, well played Barker, well played.

So, the series will continue, and I will be there with bated breath wanting, no needing, to find out what happens next! I know it is going to be good! It must be!

Again, yet another well written book by J.D. Baker. Obviously, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did enjoy “The Fourth Monkey” a tad bit more, but this was still very good. For me this book really shined when showing the new killer and the girls he kidnapped. Barker does a good job at keeping the reader guessing as to what this guy’s motivation was and what he was hoping the girls would see. An added plus was the addition of Bishop’s mother. Mom-of-the-year she was NOT! For those who read the first book in the series, you will know what I mean! Even she is creepy. I think there was a creep-a-thon going on in this book!

So, I think it is safe to say, I enjoyed this book and I think most of you will too!

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are my own.


The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth MonkeyThe Fourth Monkey (A 4MK Thriller, #1) by J.D. Barker
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on June 27th 2017
Pages: 404
ISBN: 0544968840
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The long and short of this is: A serial killer has been terrorizing Chicago for over five years. The serial killer has become known as the Fourth Monkey (See No evil, Speak No evil – you get the picture). Then one night, his body is found. Police on the scene believe that he was on his way to deliver a message about a victim – who may very well be still alive. Detective Sam Porter has been the detective on the case. He has his own demons and many question if it is too soon for him to be diving into this investigation- but he does. He believes he can find the victim and unravel who the killer is and what haws motivated him over the years. Whew! What a ride!

That is all I am going to say about the plot. What I will say is that I highly recommend this book if you enjoy clever, intelligent psychological thrillers! Of course, as you can tell from the blurb, this is not fairy tale. It is dark, gritty, suspenseful, mesmerizing and hard to put down. I loved that we got to see inside the mind of the killer. He gave us glimpses into his past which really sucked me in! I loved the ongoing investigations paired with the killer’s past. I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! (and neither should you!)

Again, if you like gritty psychological thrillers (and can handle some gore) this book is for you! But be warned – this is hard to put down and may cause you to lose sleep!