Title: The Fifth to Die
Author: J.D. Barker
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.
Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.
Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.
I loved J D Barker’s first novel, The Fourth Monkey, so couldn’t waitto read the follow-up, titled The Fifth to Die. I’m pleased to report that it steps up to the mark as being deliciously twisted, dark and entertaining!
We meet the characters from book 1, and various aspects of book 1 continue in this novel – I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil anything. If you haven’t read The Fourth Monkey then I’ll just say – stop right here and go back and read it now, you’ll be a bit (okay, a lot) confused if you don’t. At first it took me a while to remind myself how book 1 had left things, but from that point on I stormed through this novel.
In The Fifth To Die we’re met with multiple murders needing to be solved, with the ever-present threat of Anson Bishop, who is still on the run from police, lurking in the background and keeping Sam Porter occupied. I think Sam’s a great character, and the rest of his team are brilliantly entertaining in the way they work with him and eachother. Anson Bishop is also verey entertaining – in a different way! There are plenty of humorous moments peppered among the fast-paced action and odd events, which keeps the book’s crimes from being too horrifying. For me, the balance is just right and there are of course some surprises along the way too, all of which makes for an addictive thriller which is just as brilliant as the first in the 4MK series. The ending is bound to divide people, but I loved it, and it made me even more excited to read book three – I hope the series has many more to come!
A copy of this novel was provided on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
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