Author : J.D. Barker
Title : The Fifth To Die
Series : 4MK Thriller #2
Pages : 416
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date : July 10, 2018
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.
Bloody hell, what a ride! I don’t even know what to say. This series is CRAZY!
The Fifth To Die is the second book in the 4MK Thriller series and no, I’ll tell you right now, you absolutely cannot read this as a stand-alone. Do yourself a favour and read The Fourth Monkey first, not only for the necessary background information but so you can read this second one and fully appreciate the incredibly masterful way J.D. Barker has crafted this series.
There is so much going on in this second instalment. The FBI has taken over the 4MK investigation but Sam Porter is in too deep to let things go and sets out on his own search for Bishop. Meanwhile his colleagues, Nash, Clair and Kloz are investigating the murder of Ella Reynolds, who after having been missing for three weeks, is found under the ice in a lagoon. However, she’s wearing someone else’s clothes, those of a young girl who recently went missing.
I’m not saying any more than that because I’m seriously in danger of giving away something vital. As far as serial killer series go, this is by far one of the best ones out there right now. With chapters switching between the various threads, you’re often struck with the most fabulous cliffhangers that just make you want to flip the pages faster. The tension hit me from the very first page and built up to almost unbearable levels. If this was a movie (which it bloody well should be, to be honest), my non-reader of an other half would be on the edge of his seat. As was I, until the last word.
I absolutely devoured this book. The Fifth To Die is an incredibly addictive page-turner that had me utterly engrossed from start to finish. Brilliantly plotted, expertly crafted, with intriguing and fabulous characters, deliciously disturbing murders and a chilling but genius killer, it firmly stands out in the serial killer genre. I’m not sure how I’ll survive the long wait for the next one but I have no doubt it will be worth it. I can’t recommend this series enough so add it to your TBR right now! I promise you won’t regret it! Be prepared for a deliciously thrilling ride! J.D. Barker is quite frankly one of the best crime thriller writers out there who should be on everyone’s radar!
My thanks to the publisher for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.
The Fifth To Die is available to buy!
Book 5 from my 20 Books of Summer list.