Review: The Fifth to Die by J. D. Barker @jdbarker


Release date: July 10, 2018

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


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.


You may remember me raving about the first book in this series, The Fourth Monkey last summer, it was one of my favorite reads of the year, so I mentioned it several times. If you didn’t take my solid advice and snatch a copy for yourself last year then go grab one now and then come back to this review when you’re done!

This picks up shortly after the first book ends and while the bulk of the story is told from Porter’s perspective, there are also several other important points of view as well that provided a birds eye view that really enriched my reading experience. The pacing of this is once again fast and furious and never let up for a second. It’s one of those books that grabs ahold of you tightly from page one and just pulls you in tighter as the story progresses. Gripping is the first word that comes to mind but I’m not even sure that’s enough of an explanation as to just how very compelling Barker’s books are.

The style of this is daring, there’s an unflinching quality where Barker is not afraid to get nitty gritty, he holds absolutely nothing back and keeps you on the very edge of your seat wondering what in the hell will happen next. While many questions that were left unanswered in the first book are addressed, this did end on a pretty big cliffhanger, when can I get my hands on book three Mr. Barker?! I’m dying over here, SO AMAZING! Recommended for fans of serial killer thrillers written by an incredibly talented author who writes one hell of a messed up and thrilling story.

The Fifth to Die in three words: Bold, Dark and Engrossing.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Fifth to Die by J. D. Barker @jdbarker

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