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The Fifth to Die

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Member Reviews

I’ll start by saying this is not a stand-alone novel; it reads very much like a middle book in a trilogy and the character development and motivations will make very little sense unless you have read the first book. 

I really enjoyed The Fourth Monkey; it was fast-paced and creepy with one scene in particular that has stayed with me for over a year. This follow-up started and ended well, but I found some of the middle section a little slow and convoluted. Much of this, I imagine, was because it was providing details that acted as a recap of the earlier book. 

It was still very enjoyable and it was nice to learn more about some of the lesser characters. That said, so many threads were left hanging that I’ll only feel happy with the resolution the next book should provide.
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The Fifth to Die (4MK Thriller #2) by JD Barker
5 stars!!!

“You can’t play God without being acquainted with the devil.”

Damn JD Barker and damn Anson Bishop aka 4MK. OMG, JD Barker is a cruel, cruel, man, killing me with one hell of a doozy ending that has left me with a gaping mouth, so many theories running around my mind and a headache that could literally explode my brain. For those that follow my blog, you will know that the first book in this series, The Fourth Monkey, was one of my top reads of 2017 and JD Barker does it again with The Fifth to Die.

4MK is at it again, but it seems he has deviated from his usual modus operandi. There are startling similarities and yet some go against the grain. With children going missing at the rate of knots and then their bodies being found, either 4MK is busy or he has an accomplice. With one of their parents also submitting to an untimely death it seems 4MK is once again punishing the children for their parent’s misdemeanours but is also wreaking revenge. The lead investigator from The Fourth Monkey, Sam Porter, is once again on the case, but has this case become too personal? Sam still can’t forgive himself for Bishop’s escape and it is literally eating away at him.

“Look to the place where the monsters hide, Detective. That’s where you’ll find answers.”

4MK is extremely clever, intelligent and leaves only the clues he wants to and once again he has the police and FBI running around in never decreasing circles. 4MK is manipulative, he has no scruples and only has his own agenda, his own end game and he has them all playing, whether they are willing participants or not.

This book has it all, seriously, JD Barker is a genius in manipulation, both with his words and his visceral scene setting. The twist, I HAD NO CLUE! I was simply stunned and speechless. The Fifth to Die is extremely action packed, suspenseful, intriguing, gut curdling, and one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I love my crime, I love learning about serial killers, I am fascinated by this topic, I am an avid watcher of crime documentaries, CSI, Criminal Minds, you name it, I watch it, but it is often hard to portray that thrill of TV into words. Yet, JD Barker does it effortlessly.

As I said in my review of The Fourth Monkey… “This author really gets into your head and plays with your mind and that is the sign of an amazing psychological thriller. The twists and turns you will never see coming, the prose utterly engaging and positively chilling, but this is a story that you will never forget and will sickly want more of.” And that still remains. I NEED the next book, like desperately!!

Engaging, absorbing, compelling, intriguing, suspenseful, sick and twisted but as I said above, one unforgettable read. If you love psychological thrillers then this is the cream of the crop. Totally loved every single sick second of it.
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The criminal mastermind responsible for orchestrating a string of gruesome murders in The Fourth Monkey (4MK Thriller, #1) continued his almost supervillain-like reign in this book! 

The FBI has taken over the 4MK case, two girls are missing at the start of this story, and Sam Porter goes rogue before the curtains drop on that final scene! Anson’s intricate and puzzling network of criminal associations weren’t detailed in 4mk and made him seem like a larger than life/almost omnipotent sociopath, but this story filled in some golf-ball-sized gaps and led to a stellar ending!

The circumstances under which Heather and Sam met was finally revealed! It was just one more part of a growing puzzle that when shifted into place felt so satisfying to know! Also loved? The insight behind the mental set of individuals imprisoned for five years or longer, the statistical info about human trafficking, and all those detailed forensic bits. Viewing The Evidence Board made it easy to shift back and forth in the text to gather my own conclusions rather than writing out a cheat sheet about the characters. 

Minor issues?
I loved the plot but something else was missing for me in this installment. This book took three times as long to complete when compared to the prior book and it didn’t grab me as strongly. The opening chapters were exciting but the story shifted in pace, sort of lagged, then picked up in excitement and intensity towards the end. Nash and Claire’s POV still felt wooden to me but I liked how adding goofy Kloz (minus Porter) to the mix made for an interesting trio. 

►Overall, this was a great maze of a story! I never saw those twists coming and wished to read more of Anson’s thoughts as an adult, but I’m excited about the upcoming book in this series. The build-up to the end may have danced on for a bit too long in this story, but the ending—once again—was phenomenal!
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OMG! This is an excellent book! I didn't realize it was the 2nd of a series when I started reading it, and by the time I did realize, it wasn't important. I HAD to finish the book; it was that compelling. J. D. Barker has a style comparable to Stephen King. He paints a picture with words, and draws you into the story. I read every chance I got and could hardly wait to find out what happened at the end. Now I have to go back and read book 1, The Fourth Monkey, and bite my nails waiting on the next book in the series. Well done, Mr. Barker. There aren't many books that compel me to keep reading like this one has.
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If you haven't read The Fourth Monkey (the first book in the series) you'll want to read it first.  It's not crucial to the story...but after finishing The Fifth Victim you're going to go back to read it anyway.  No sophomore slump for the 4MK series.
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#NetGalley #The Fifth To Die.    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Loved this book. More comments closer to release date.
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Before I immersed myself in this tightly woven serial killer thriller, I re-read THE FOURTH MONKEY, easily one of last years best books. Now, you don't have to read book one to figure out what's going on in book two; but why do that? Why leave out a single detail of such a finely crafted story? I wondered going into FTD how Barker could possibly live up to the standard he set in 4M, but he did it and he did damn well.

These are books worth re-reading. The twists and turns are insane and Barker's writing is second to none. 

I'm so grateful I received a review copy and didn't have to wait! Don't miss out on these amazing books.
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The first book in this series The Fourth Monkey was one of my favorite reads last when I saw this sequel go up I started looking a bit like this....

I usually just jump into series books wherever I want too but with these you are going to have to read them in order because you'll be totally lost...and you will miss out on some crazy time goodness. 

Everybody is back from the first book and now some missing girls are starting to turn up. The town is still all creeped out from old Monkey Killing serial killer and they automatically think it is him. The MO is different but this is some gruesome happenings and well..the boy likes to play.

The killer completely stumps the team and the lead detective from the first book gets himself suspended during this investigation. That ain't gonna stop him if you have ever read the thrillars you would totally know that. 

So stuff happens. 

Now why didn't I go completely fangirl over this one? I think it's a case of second book syndrome..sometime it happens. There are some moments that I felt like the story went all over the place and lost me for a few. (That's not hard to do) Then that ending......

I'll still read whatever this dude writes because I'm already drooling for the next one.
If your READING jam is serial killers you are totally gonna love these also. I capitalized the reading because everyone already thinks I'm a bit nuts. 

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
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Police in Chicago get called out when the body of a teen aged girl is found under the ice of a frozen lake on the south side of the city.  Homicide Detective Porter’s team is called out.  They learn that the girl drowned in salt water, not in the fresh water of a lake.  This leads them to return to the investigation of a serial killer who had been captured by Porter and ultimately escaped from him. The FBI is also involved in the case.  The SAIC suspects that Porter may be involved with Bishop, the serial killer, however a field agent, Poole, is more convinced that Porter is searching for Bishop.  The novel is an interesting procedural with a very surprise ending.  All in all it is fascinating reading.  Thanks to Net Galley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an ARC for an honest review.
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Another superb Barker thriller! Equally as good as the first in the series. Look forward to more from the author
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A deliciously wicked sequel to The Fourth Monkey! But, oh, J,D., you are so evil! How can you leave your adoring readers hanging like that. . . .”to be concluded” indeed! What the ....? Please, we beg you! Give us the next book!
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If you read the first book in this series, you undoubtedly are itching to get your hands on this one.  The first book ended with a cliffhanger, and the second book does not disappoint!  The style of multiple narrators and voices from the past continues in this book, and there are plenty of twists to keep you guessing until the very end.  When you finish this one, you're going to be even more desperate for the next book because the last few pages are jaw-dropping!
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The Fifth to Die
By J.D. Barker

4 stars

This thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, sees a serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Starting with the body of a young girl found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, the story quickly unfolds, with twists and turns that the reader doesn’t see coming.

The quick page turner will engage most readers of mystery and trillers, with an ending leaving the reader hanging for more.

#TheFifthToDie #NetGalley
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an advance copy of The Fifth to Die, the second novel to feature Detective Sam Porter of Chicago PD and 4MK.

Four months on from the events of The Fourth Monkey Porter is still obsessed with catching 4MK despite the FBI having taken over the hunt but he has a new case with no link to 4MK, despite a press frenzy saying otherwise. Ella Reynolds has been found murdered under the ice of Jackson Park Lagoon and certain aspects of the scene suggest they have another twisted killer on their hands.

Wow, what a read. I thoroughly enjoyed The Fifth to Die which is an engrossing read with a complicated plot and some amazing twists. There is never a dull or wasted moment as every chapter has new developments and more to ponder on. It should be noted, however, that while this novel will probably work as a stand alone as the highlights of the previous novel, The Fourth Monkey, are recapped as necessary it is part of a larger storyline, in fact it ends with several cliffhangers, so I would recommend reading the series in order. I'm champing at the bit for the next instalment already as Mr Barker is fast becoming one of my "must reads".

I'm not sure where to start. The plotting is excellent and had me feverishly turning the pages to see what was coming next. It is complicated with several different strands but not difficult to follow as it unfolds logically and clearly, the only issue is trying to keep up with the minor characters and their roles. The novel is narrated from several points of view but with each chapter labelled and the constant developments it is not distracting in the least as it is in many novels but rather it adds to the tension and need to know as well as offering a wider perspective on events. As with The Fourth Monkey the twists keep coming. They start with anomalies in the death of Ella Reynolds and just keep arriving - Mr Barker has a devious mind.

The characters are necessarily not as important as the plot but I enjoy the banter between the detectives which adds a little light relief and realism into a dark tale. 4MK is not often physically present in the novel but his twisted mind is a constant. I'd love to know his endgame but I'm sure I have many more hoops to jump through before then. He seems omnipotent in this novel but there are cracks.

The Fifth to Die is an excellent read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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The Fifth to Die by J D Barker
Five out of 5 stars.

The Fifth to Die (2018) is an excellent follow on to The Fourth Monkey (2017). This is now my favorite Thriller series. Warning: non-stop TENSION from the first page to the last. Couldn’t put it down. Well written and well plotted. Lots of twists and turns to keep you constantly on alert and wanting answers. Surprise ending has me craving the next book in the series.
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5 plus stars

Detective Sam Porter is called to the scene of a body under the ice. It may well be the missing girl for whom they have been looking. If it is, someone has dressed her in different clothing than when she disappeared. Her parents say that she doesn’t own any clothing like that. Porter had to leave the hunt for Anson Bishop, the 4MK killer, to look into this new case. 

Sam Porter, Brian Nash, Claire Norton, Edwin “Kloz” Klozowski  and Sophie Rodriguez make up Porter’s team for the case. The FBI has taken over the 4MK case. They are in a room across the hall from Sam’s team. 

Porter gets a call at 1:30 a.m.; it is the report of another missing girl. Her name is Lili Davies. That same morning, the pathologist confirms the identity of the girl in the ice. It was Ella Reynolds, the girl who disappeared three weeks earlier. 

The story is interspersed with vignettes of what is happening to Lili during her captivity. A truly sick individual is torturing her in the most depraved manner.  Then, Lili’s body is discovered in a locked storeroom of the art gallery where she worked part-time. 

Meanwhile, Bishop, the 4MK killer is taunting Porter with photographs and tantalizing messages. Poole, an FBI agent assigned to the 4MK case is reaching out to Porter and asking for help. This goes directly against his superior’s wishes.

Larissa Biel is the next girl taken and the reader gets to learn how the kidnapper/killer does his taking. Larissa gets even, but in a very destructive manner. Two teens are taken next. 

The story takes a very interesting twist and Porter goes off on his own after being suspended by his captain. He speaks with Bishop’s mother, who is incarcerated in a prison near New Orleans. Teaming up with a woman attorney named Sarah Werner and together they travel to South Carolina where they make some very interesting finds. The case seems to be coming together now. 

The novel is interspersed with passages from Bishop’s diary. Some facts seem to check out, but others are pure fiction. It is very interestingly written. 

Meanwhile Poole, Nash, Clair and Kloz see the bigger picture. At the same time, Bishop contacts Porter and tries to make a deal with him. Bishop comes up with an audacious plan. Porter and Sarah feel that they have no choice but to go along with the plan. 

In another huge twist, all is revealed and all is not what it seems. 

This is a remarkably well written and plotted novel. It has it all: action, drama, suspense and psychological insights into the twisted minds of killers. The suspense begins immediately with the discovery of the girl in the ice and continues at a high level throughout the story. It is an absolutely great follow-up to the first book in this series. The book is clever and twisty with many surprises along the way. 

Nash is a wisecracking cop who is quick to defend Sam and a little combative to those in authority. I liked him a great deal. Clair is smart and brave and willing to tackle anything. Kloz is brilliant and knows computers forwards and backwards. Porter is tortured and listening to his demons sometimes gets him in trouble. An absolutely delicious novel!! Keep on writing Mr. Barker! I MUST find out what happens to Sam and Bishop. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for forwarding to me a copy of this most engrossing and entertaining book for me to read and enjoy.
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