Book Review- The Fourth Monkey

Thursday, 29 June 2017
Title: The Fourth Monkey
Author: J.D Barker
Published: June 27th 2017
Pages: 416
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Rating: 4.5/5

For 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. -Goodreads

I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and Harper Collins UK in return for an honest review.
I don't really know how to begin reviewing this novel, and I mean that in a good way! Every time I begin a review for this book I end up writing a spoiler! There were so many twists and surprises in this novel it's hard to talk about it without giving something away. This novel is a detective crime thriller but it seems to take every trope of that genre and turn it on its head. Every time I thought I had caught a predictable moment, the author twisted it so I had no idea what was going to happen next.
A warning however if you are squeamish in any way, this novel is quite graphic in its descriptions of bloody violence and injuries, and I did cringe at times with the graphic nature of what was being described. If this is an issue for you I would recommend caution before jumping straight into the novel.
This plot is a very clever cat and mouse game between the lead detective and the serial killer. There are plenty of clues and twists to keep the reader enthralled the whole way through. This novel would definitely be a good holiday read as its very difficult to put down, and would definitely be best digested in one or two sittings!!
The narrative is cleverly created, we have differing P.O.Vs; from the lead detective, from other Officers on the case, from the latest girl kidnapped by the killer, and we get chapters from the serial killer's childhood diary. These differing chapters enhance the mystery by making the reader wait for the conclusion to different storylines, and make the novel a well rounded and well crafted book. The chapters that feature the killer's diary allowed us as readers to discover more about the killer in the past, and the reasons for his actions in the present. This definitely makes the character seem more realistic, and gave him more depth.
I had so many 'ah-ha!' moments while reading this novel, there were so many little clues that started to make sense later on, and it was really fun to read a novel and not have figured out the twists before the characters themselves had!
My only slight criticism of the novel was that we don't learn a great deal about the other characters that are helping the lead detective solve the case, I would've liked to read more about their personalities and back stories to help develop their character, but I understand that perhaps that would have made the novel extremely lengthy!!
Overall I really enjoyed this novel, I gave it 4.5/5 stars. It's one of the best thriller-crime novels I have read in a long time, and I will definitely be reading some of his other work as soon as possible.

Happy reading!!


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