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

Fifth to DieDetective 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.


This series is something else! And I mean that in the best way possible! It is an addictive, crazy, riveting roller-coaster ride. I read The Fourth Monkey when it first came out and have been looking forward to the sequel ever since. The series features one of the most twisted, vile serial killers. Anison Bishop not only kills but he also likes to torture the families of his victims. This he does by sending them body parts, an ear, a tongue and an eye. Twisted, right?

In this story, young girls go missing and their bodies turn up in ways that leave the cops with more questions than answers. In addition, the killer is not just targeting the girls. The MO is quite different from Bishop’s usual style so the cops are puzzled. They don’t know whether they are still trailing Bishop or a new serial killer.

Like in the first book, the story is narrated through alternating POVs. Nash and Porter are still lead investigators but they are not really working together. There are other investigators whose narrations I enjoyed. These include, Clair, Poole and Kloz. There are a few chapters narrated by the girls. Their harrowing ordeals show just how depraved the Unsub is. However, I still couldn’t guess why they were being taken. Like in the first book, there are diary entries. I just love these parts of the story. Not sure what that says about me,haha but I do love reading the psychopaths’ POVs. It is interesting to see how their minds work and the motivations behind their actions. The pacing of the story was even, fast and thrilling from the first to the last page. It was perfect!

The author did a great job with this story; it is very well well-plotted, brilliantly narrated and absolutely enthralling. The different narrations soon come together in an explosive ending. The final chapters are shorter with twists coming in fast. I think my jaw dropped and stayed that way to the last page. The story ends with a massive cliff hanger. Needless to say, I can’t wait for the third book!