Cover Image: The Fifth to Die

The Fifth to Die

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Member Reviews

As I was getting closer to the conclusion of this book, I was thinking, there is so much going on, how is the author going to end it? Knowing there was a third book in the series, I knew there would be a cliffhanger.  All I can say is, Wow!!! What a finish to the second book! You need to do what I am doing and read all three books in order without any interruptions in between. The story flows smoothly from one book to the next

This is a very well written, fast-paced, page-turner with a shocking ending that I did not see coming. His character development is top-notch. If you are looking for a gripping thriller, I highly recommend this series (and I haven't even read the ending yet!). I'm kicking myself for not reading this series sooner. So far everything I have read from this author has been amazing. J.D. Barker has become one of my favorite authors and I will read anything he writes.

Thank you to NetGalley, Mariner Books and J.D. Barker for a copy of "The Fifth To Die" in exchange of an honest review.
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The second book in a series that is quite enjoyable! I love a good novel that sucks you in and introduces you to many different characters and this book does exactly that. It was easy to keep track of what was going on and to keep the characters straight from one another. A wonderful book that I highly recommend. Be sure to also read the first novel in the series as well.
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So, for some reason NetGalley requires me to leave a rating and review on my own titles. Very odd. But if I don't, my overall feedback ratio appears inaccurately low. 

If you are an author or publisher seeking a review/blurb from me, please note I only provide those on the books I enjoy and read cover-to-cover. If I don't give you one, it doesn't mean there was a problem with the book, it simply means the book wasn't for me.
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I so really wanted to love this book but sadly there were way to many references to the first book in the series as well as so many characters to keep up. They all intermingled wat to much for me to follow. Sadly, I could not finish. I may read the first book and see if that changes my perspective. Overall, I would give this 2 1/2 stars due to the storyline being  thought of and not just thrown together overnight.

Thank you to netgalley as well as the author/publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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A few strong cautions if you are considering reading The Fifth To Die, the second book in Barker’s three book 4MK thriller series:

...Do not even think about reading this book if you haven’t already read the first book, The Fourth Monkey;
...Be prepared to keep a scorecard to keep track of the large cast of characters you are going to meet and how they are intertwined;
...Be ready to have your head spin due to Barker’s jumping back and forth between characters and time periods; and
...Be cognizant of the fact that you’re going to feel frustrated by the way the book that it doesn’t provide an ending that “wraps ANYTHING up” for the reader. To learn the real ending the reader must commit to reading The Sixth Wicked Child, the final book in this series.

Having said the above, despite often feeling confused and frustrated and feeling that the first half of the book was a bit too long and slow-paced, I, overall, liked The Fifth To Die a lot and look forward to reading the final book in the series soon. However, before doing this I plan to read one or two less complicated books in order to give my head a chance to stop spinning from all the unresolved, yet exciting, twists and turns Barker packs into the second half of The Fifth To Die.

If you’re the type of thriller lover who is willing to commit the time and money to reading a trilogy — especially when you know from what I point out above about the second book — then I think you’ll enjoy this series and I think J.D. Barker will become an author you’ll want to learn more about.

#The Fifth To Die  #NetGalley
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I love serial killer books and this one did not disappoint. The reader needs to read the first in the series The Fourth Monkey to understand where the story is going and has been. It was a fast paced and intense read. Cant wait to read the last in the series. Thanks for the advanced readers copy for my early review.
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of The Fifth to Die. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Sam Porter and the team has been pulled off the hunt for Anson Bishop (4MK) by the Feds. When the body of a teenage girl is found in the water under a layer of ice, baffling questions have the team soon realizing that there is more to the death than appears at first glance. Despite a warning from his captain, and a subsequent suspension, Porter continues to pursue 4MK. Will the search for the two separate killers intersect?

The biggest issue that I had with The Fifth to Die is that it is entirely too long. The author takes too much time to get to the point and, although police investigations can be tedious, I do not necessarily want to read all of the minute details. The cliffhanger ending is another part that I did not care for, as the book is moving along at breakneck speed by the end and suddenly drops off. The action, thrilling moments, and character development that made The Fourth Monkey so successful are largely absent here. As I do want to see where the author takes Sam Porter and the rest of the team, I am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series. Readers who are new to the books should definitely start with The Fourth Monkey, as The Fifth to Die is largely a vehicle to drive the next book forward.
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When I read The Fourth Monkey, I was obsessed.  I lent it to all my friends.  I made my boss at work read it.  I was a woman on a mission.  
After a long wait, I finally read The Fifth to Die, and, while I loved the pacing and the dark vibes, I really struggled to STAY engrossed in the sequel. 
It was just as brilliantly written, but there was a lot going on.  Many more perspectives, many more storylines and, just as I thought I was getting everything straight, it was over! 
Don't get me wrong, I think this one is worth the read; however, I think I'd read them back to back so I could follow along.  This isn't one to go into blindly!
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A well-crafted crime novel that continues to up the compulsive quality. I enjoyed reading the first book in the series, but I believe Barker just upped the ante with this one. Not to mention the author leaves us wanting what is coming in book three.
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I have to say, I thought the bar was already set high in The Fourth Monkey. The follow up, The Fifth to Die takes the bar and lifts it even further. I loved the first book so much I had to read this book immediately after. For context, I think the last book series I really felt a need to binge one after the other was The Dark Tower by Stephen King, a firm favourite in my book. With the fiasco that became of the Four Monkeys Killer case, the FBI swoop in to take over this case as a seemingly new killer hits the streets of Chicago.

The team work hard, trying to figure out who is responsible, what are their motives. And the biggest questions of all, is 4MK involved this time around and what connects the victims together? All the while Detective Porter is plagued by what Anson Bishop achieved and how he had fooled them so easily. Once again Barker has crafted a book with intensity and pace, a breathless roller coaster that left me constantly saying to myself “just another few pages, just another chapter…”. It was all I could do to stop reading long enough to go to work.

The crimes perpetrated are dastardly and dark, the perpetrator troubled and deranged. While the rest of his team close the net around the unsub, Porter’s ever deepening obsession to ensnare Bishop sees him travel between Chicago, New Orleans and South Carolina. From Bishop’s childhood home, to the scene of his earliest crimes, and on to a prison in New Orleans, Barker manages to really paint a picture of him as a dark and tormented figure. Once again, diaries are used to illustrate Bishop’s early life, a wonderful device that helps break up the breakneck pace of the action.

If the murders depicted in the first book were despicable and dark, the crimes put forward on this second outing take things to a whole new level. The concept that the crimes are being used to punish others for perceived transgressions continues as a theme, as does the charming menace from the protagonists. Barker has developed links and threads between his characters that neatly tie things together that make for an engaging narrative filled once again with more questions than answers. A fantastic follow up to The Fourth Monkey, The Fifth to Die ups the ante and I am so happy I have the third book in the trilogy on-hand to immediately start on.
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Sometimes the timing makes a book and I hit this right at the right time for me. But first confession time, I started this one way back when it became available on NG and I didn't finish it. It's been sitting on my shelve since then. I finally decided to overcome my fear of those 500 plus high commitment books and start this one again. Well, this started off as a fast-paced, page-turner that had me hooked and I flew through it in a couple of days.

The games continue here between our killer Anson Bishop and our anti-hero Sam Porter with some other intense and chilly twists to the story that don't seem related.

J.D Barker turns done a bit of the gore here with this one, but it's still chilling enough to get your dark and twisted thriller mind going in places you might not want to go but can't help yourself from wanting to. Or is that just me and my twisted thriller mind?

This one ends with quite the cliff hanger and I am so glad my first attempt to read this one failed because now I can jive right on into The Sixth Wicked Child without missing a beat. If you haven't started reading this series now is a great time to do some intense binge-reading that will keep you wanting to hide and read.

I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley
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I read the initial mystery in this series, THE FOURTH MONKEY, in one day. THE FIFTH TO  required two days, seemed much slower-, and really, I didn't like it much at all. Much more Noir than police procedural, and with Detective Sam Porter, star of THE FOURTH MONKEY, now "out in the cold" and acting on his own recognizance, I just could not develop the interest as I had with THE FOURTH MONKEY.
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I loved The Fourth Monkey and so when I saw the second book, I grabbed it. This one left me in a tailspin. The ending left me wanting for more. Can't wait for the next/last one!
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A disappointingly poorly plotted attempt at a story that leaves the reader wanting.  I won't be reading additional material from this author.
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I was a huge fan of this authors other book in the series so I had high hopes for the follow up to The Fourth Monkey! I think it’s a case of it’s not the book, it’s me. I’ve been finding thrillers more difficult to read lately and this one was no exception. Loved the premise though!
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The Fifth to Die picks up on the story (the fabulous story) started in The Fourth Monkey.  We see the return of Detective Sam Porter who is still obsessing about the killer from The Fourth Monkey and has been removed from that investigation.

No let-up on the body count though as a new spate of murders are taking place and they have been carefully planned to confuse the police. A missing girl is found frozen in a lake. The lake has been frozen solid for months, however, the girl only went missing three weeks earlier.  There is no natural explanation as to how she got under the ice – yet there she is.

More deaths shall follow and it is clear a very sophisticated and intelligent killer is at work. Porter has his own distraction going on, however, as he pursues a lead in the case he is not even meant to be considering. It will take him far from the action but could end up placing him in more danger than he could know.

The Fifth to Die is a tense police procedural and the reader gets to follow the unfolding investigation.  JD Barker keeps the story flowing really well, there were shocks and surprises which kept me engrossed and the killer is decidedly nasty so there are some dark moments which I very much enjoyed.

The Fourth Monkey made my Top Ten reads of 2017 and I was dying to get my hands on The Fifth to Die.  I was not disappointed.
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I really enjoyed book 2 in the 4MK series! This one didn't wow me like book 1 did but it was still a solid read for me! The only thing I wasn't a fan of was the abrupt ending, I need to know more! I'm not sure if there is supposed to be a third book or not but I would really love another 4MK novel! I absolutely love this series!
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I've needed to calm down with this one!! I loved The Fourth Monkey which I read two years ago and though I've had this review copy for a while, it's taken me some time to get my head in the right space for it. That time was now and I devoured this over a twenty four hour period.

But my thoughts are all over the place with this review. We continue on from where 4MK left off in the previous book. Anson Bishop is still at large and Detective Porter is still obsessed with being the one to track him down. A body of a young girl is found under frozen waters of a local lagoon in Chicago. Porter and his team are tasked with the case and soon on a trail of more bodies, clothes being swapped bizarrely and parents of said victims being killed too. Is Anson behind these murders? Not his usual mo and why are the parents being murdered? 

So, here's the rub. The book is stocked full of characters and I mean a load so no real fleshing out of anyone here. There just isn't time. The story is all the cliches, high octane; frenetic; short choppy chapters which change narratives. That's fine but there was a real need to be able to refer back to book one which is easy enough to do with actual copies of books but in ebook form ..... um..... no. A serious case of can't be bothered-itis also struck. It's just too much like hard work. Never mind Porter hanging onto Bishop's diary, I needed the diary!! I can't remember in detail what I read two years ago. And it really frustrated me. It was key to the storyline to remember what was written in the diary and it got my goat!!

And the other thing ...... Porter chasing Bishop ..... Bishop chasing Porter ........ Sherlock v Moriarty is what it felt like. A lot was thrown at this book and I mean a lot. An author takes time to get to know the characters; lists; post it notes; whatever it takes. Over a twenty four hour period my crime detecting brain had a lot to digest!! Next time leave the kitchen sink at home..... please.

Don't get me wrong this is a great book for the most part. But too much was thrown at it. And the chapter ending next twist becomes decidedly wearing. You can have too much of a good thing.

If Porter and Bishop don't wrap up in the next book then I'm done. My advice, perhaps wait until book three is out and then binge till your stomach's burst; otherwise take notes, record or buy physical copies so you have a point of reference. Don't suffer!

Ps. I still want the diary!!
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A great follow up to the Fourth Monkey! There is a new missing girl and the detective team has to take a break from pursuing the serial killer from the first novel to investigate. There was a lot of detail and it would have been better (for me) to have read The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth to Die back to back. I'll tell you- I love a duology (and likely trilogy?) that I can binge, and this perfectly fits the mark. It's brutal just like the last one but the pace was quick enough to keep me turning the pages. It's on the long side, but I still tore through. I enjoyed getting to know more about the killer- he and Porter are well developed characters that really make this series. Looking forward to what is next from this author!
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Criminal Minds fans - please form a line. 

That was what this book felt like to me - like Criminal Minds in book form. I should mention I love Criminal Minds so that's totally a compliment. It was like a really good story arc over a few episodes of Criminal Minds. 

That being said, I didn't read book one before I read this book - which was a mistake - you should totally read the first book. But it was still a really good serial killer style thriller/police procedural and I got what was happening even without having read the first book (because I'm so smart - toot toot! That was me tooting my own horn... No, because the author does a good job of backtracking just enough for understanding). There is a big "To be continued..." at the end of this book as well - so the story continues! And I'm anxiously awaiting book 3.

I appreciated the exploration of the background of the serial killer in this book, while simultaneously solving new crimes related to him. It was very Mindhunter (the Netflix series. Am I the only one who binge watches psychological crime shows?) By the way - complete side note, but I just Googled Mindhunter and there's an article titled "Fans of Netflix's 'Mindhunter' Can Take Home Props at Sale." That literally has me laughing (uncomfortably) out loud. Keep a list of those people buying the serial killer props to keep in their home - it may come in handy for future use. 

Anyways, this book was awesome - it would make a great movie or TV series. It was a fast-paced action packed thrill!

Entertainment Value: 5
Characters: 4
Voice: 4
Plot: 5
Overall: 4.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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