Book Review: The Fifth to Die (4MK Thriller #2) by J.D. Barker

Book Title and Author: The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker
Series: 4MK Thriller #2
Publication Date and Publisher: July 10, 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Pages: 416 pages
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Date Read: June 11, 2018 (e-arc)

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

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. 

My Review:

The Fourth Monkey was one of my favorite thrillers in 2017 so I couldn’t wait to read The Fifth to Die, the second book in J.D. Barker’s 4MK Thriller seriesand it didn’t disappoint! This book is such a phenomenal, intense, thrill ride that picks up not long after the first book ends! I will say if you haven’t read the first book, then I strongly encourage you to read it before reading The Fifth to Die since there is way too many information about the characters, especially the 4MK killer that you need to know for this book to make sense! These are definitely not meant to be standalone books.

At the end of The Fourth Monkey, serial killer Anton Bishop, otherwise known as the 4MK killer managed to escape from Detective Sam Porter. As The Fifth to Die starts, Porter and the rest of his team-Nash, Clare, and Kloz have been called to investigate the murder of a young girl found beneath the ice of Jackson Park Lagoon.

The murder is extremely strange since the girl is found underneath a lagoon that has been frozen for weeks, so how did her murderer get her under frozen ice? And she’s wearing clothing of a completely different girl who just went missing. It’s not 4MK’s MO because of the cause of death, so who is the murderer? Or is there some link with 4MK? The new murders were an evil and twisted storyline but so much fun to try and solve, but I wasn’t able to so that is a plus in my book every time!

Yet, even with a new murder(s) to investigate, Porter refuses to let the search for Bishop go even though the FBI has taken over the case. Maybe he’s obsessed because he almost captured Bishop once or maybe there is more to it as he learns more from Bishop’s diary (the one he never turned into evidence). He takes off without telling anyone where he is going with the only lead he has: find Bishop’s mother and hope Bishop comes to him!

The book had several excellent storylines going on with the girl’s murders, Porter’s search for Bishop, and excerpts from Bishop’s diary that there was never a dull moment!! The different plots twist and turn and then eventually connect into a chillingly fabulous way! Barker really outdid himself with the ending! My jaw dropped, and I was like “you have to be kidding me?!! No, wth?!”! Barker left his second installment on a serious cliffhanger, and I’m not sure how I’ll be able to wait for the third book because I desperately need to know what is going to happen next! Absolutely brilliant writing by Barker who has a marvelously creative imagination and is an extraordinary author!

I read this book in a few hours it was so outstanding, and I know I’ll read it again (and The Fourth Monkey) before reading the next book in the series! In case you can’t tell, I loved The Fifth to Die, and I recommend it to everyone!

**Thank you, Edelweiss and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my review copy in exchange for my fair and honest review.**

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Fifth to Die (4MK Thriller #2) by J.D. Barker

    1. Definitely read The Fourth Monkey first or you will be lost!! And you need to get a feel for the evilness of 4MK! I don’t know how I can wait for book 3, lol! Thank you! I did love this one a lot! The creepier the better, hahaha!

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  1. I loved the first book, it was dark but so good. Thought we had seen the last of 4MK though. Glad to hear that this one was even better. The case sounds intense. Can’t wait to read this. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that we didn’t see the end of him! This one is darker I thought, which why I might have thought it better! Definitely intense! I hope you enjoy it!! Thank you! 🙂


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