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The Fourth Monkey by J.D Barker

4th MonkeyFor over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.


I like a good serial killer mystery and so I knew that I had to read this one immediately I saw the blurb. I liked the idea of the story starting with the death of the killer. The mention of a personal diary had me even more intrigued. I knew it would be a very twisted tale and I was right.

The Fourth Monkey by J.D Barker begins with the death of the serial killer dubbed, The Fourth Monkey due to his MO. At the scene, investigators find clues about the killer’s latest victim and so begin the chase. In this case, they are looking for the final victim. One of the clues found at the scene is the killer’s diary. This introduces an additional narration by the unsub. It starts with a childhood event that helps readers understand the current events. This diary was dark, unsettling, twisted yet utterly captivating. I was engrossed by the narrative despite its horrors and kept looking forward to these sections. I am always curious about what makes a killer and I think this diary accurately explained this in this case.

The story is narrated in alternating POVs by the lead detective (Sam Porter), victim and also killer. I liked the fact that the characters were multi-dimensional. I enjoy reading stories about detectives who have a life outside the case because they seem more realistic. In this case, the lead detective is going through issues which add a second layer to the story although as a minor plot-line.

This book is dark yes, but also quite twisted. I really thought that I had figured out everything until the final big twist which left me in shock. I was tempted to go back to the start and see if there were clues that I had missed. At the same time, I couldn’t stop reading to find out what would happen next. The entire book is interesting but the final chapters are more addictive than the first ones. If you like a good crime thriller or serial killer mystery then this one is for you. It does get quite graphic at some point though so if you are squeamish then this might bother you. Rumors have it that there will be other books. Needless to say, I will definitely be waiting for them especially after reading the final chapter of this one.


22 comments on “The Fourth Monkey by J.D Barker

  1. Felicia Denise
    July 10, 2017

    Nice review! 😉👍

  2. Renee (Itsbooktalk)
    July 10, 2017

    Glad you enjoyed this Diana. I just couldn’t get past the graphic gruesomeness to continue much past the beginning.

    • Diana
      July 10, 2017

      I get what you mean Renee and I can guess which parts you are referring to. I have read somewhere that Barker used to write horror so perhaps that is why he didn’t shy away from the gruesomeness. Sorry to hear that this didn’t work out for you though.

  3. Awesome review Diana! I love serial killer mysteries, so I’m definitely going to be checking this out at the library.😊

    • Diana
      July 10, 2017

      Glad to hear that. I hope that you will like it as much as I did:-)

  4. Clues and Reviews
    July 10, 2017

    I loved this one too!

    • Diana
      July 10, 2017

      I enjoyed your review. I kept looking out for the clues that Barker mentioned in your interview but I totally missed all of them. A great read though 🙂

  5. The Fourth Monkey never appeared on my radar before it started spreading everywhere! How did I miss it??
    I love seeing the detectives in their personal lives, you are so right, it makes them so much more realistic! I mean, they’re not robots, they’re humans, with issues and kids, and whatever. I also always enjoy a multiple POV when it brings something to the story 🙂 Fab review! xx

    • Diana
      July 11, 2017

      haha I agree with you about the detectives. Its boring to have them only focusing on the case. Even if its main story-line, as you said, they are not robots.
      I got the book after the first reviews though I had to request directly from the author since my NetGalley request was turned down. It is definitely worth the hype though especially if you are not squeamish.

  6. This is definitely not a novel for everyone, it is kind of graphic 😉 but I loved it. My review will be up on Sunday but it’s pretty much what you said :-). Fab review!

    • Diana
      July 11, 2017

      It was graphic and I have always hated rats but this book made me not only hate them but also fear them a lot lol but I loved it too. I will definitely look out for your review. Thanks Inge 🙂

  7. Laila@BigReadingLife
    July 10, 2017

    I love it when you want to go back and try to find clues you missed in a mystery – sometimes I feel so obtuse for not spotting them! Glad this one was a hit for you.

    • Diana
      July 11, 2017

      Thank you. I had read the author’s interview before reading this book. He said that the clues are everywhere so O was very keen to look out for them but somehow ended up missing them all lol. It made the book much more entertaining though.

  8. Yvo
    July 11, 2017

    Great review! This definitely sounds like a winner.

    • Diana
      July 11, 2017

      It was. Thank you 🙂

  9. Annie
    July 11, 2017

    Glad you liked it more than I did 😛

    • Diana
      July 12, 2017

      I did. One of the darkest books that I have read recently but I totally loved it 🙂

  10. Jasmine
    July 17, 2017

    Love your review of this book Diana! I love those reads where you find yourself going back to look for missed clues. I do that too! I’m not sure how much graphic descriptions I can handle.. is it about the killing?

    • Diana
      July 18, 2017

      Thank you Jasmine and this was definitely a brilliant read though quite dark.Not really the killing bit but there is torture. Its not very graphic but it does have parts that can be difficult to read if you are squeamish.

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This entry was posted on July 10, 2017 by in Book Review, Bookish Post and tagged , .
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