Angel Gelique's Reviews > The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
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5+ stars!

An ARC of this book was provided to me for my honest opinion.

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"...They watched me with pride. Their son, their joy. I’d look back at the [sic] myself at that tender age. I’d look back at them under that tree, all in smiles. I’d look back and picture their necks sliced from ear to ear, blood pouring from the wounds and pooling in the grass beneath them. And I would laugh, my heart fluttering, I would laugh so."

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For years, the infamous "Four Monkey Killer," aka 4MK, has eluded law enforcement officials. The killer plays a game of sorts, capturing his victims and sending packages containing their body parts. First, an ear ("hear no evil"), next the eyes ("see no evil"), then the tongue ("speak no evil") and finally, the victim is killed.

Detective Sam Porter and his partner, Nash, get a break in the case when a man is struck and killed by a bus. The man was carrying a diary and a familiar package--identical to the others that had been delivered to the victims' families. In the package, as expected, is a severed human ear, leading authorities to wonder whether the Four Monkey Killer's reign of terror is over.

Of course, there's still the matter of the missing victim whose ear has been neatly removed from her head. And so begins the hunt for the young fifteen-year-old girl.

And so begins an incredible story!

I'm not too keen on crime drama stories. When I first began reading, I thought perhaps the focus would be on the detective work and crime solving aspect and that it wouldn't really hold my attention. Boy was I wrong. This story is so well written and intriguing that even the police work portion kept me fully engrossed. Though I admit, I devoured the pages from the diary that give readers a view of the killer's past and upbringing. It was so dark, twisted and depraved (right up my alley!). The story alternates between the detectives' efforts to find the victim and the excepts from the diary. The author executes this technique masterfully--the story never feels disrupted or disjointed, but flows perfectly.

The characters are realistic and well-developed. I instantly took a liking to Porter and his partner, Nash, who reminded me of Pierce and Hunnicutt, respectively, from the old television show, "MASH."

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“Elementary, my dear Watson,” Porter said.
“No, Whatney Vale is a high school.”
Nash chuckled. “I love this guy. Can we keep him?”
“The captain will kill me if I bring home another stray,” Porter said.

There is a fair amount of humor to break up the tension. It's just the right amount in all the appropriate places.

There is even a decent amount of gore, but nothing over-the-top--just enough to provide a good picture of what's happening/what has happened in the past. The writing is rich and descriptive. I felt like I was watching the scenes unfold in my mind like a movie.

I have to say, as much as I liked Porter and Nash, I was also rooting for the Four Monkey Killer. It takes a truly talented author to get readers so involved in the story that they can sympathize with both friend and foe. The killer in this story is clever and sophisticated. He reminded me of a younger version of Hannibal Lecter, minus the cannibalism.

This story is truly brilliant. Action-packed and suspenseful, it kept me guessing. There are some great twists and the most satisfying ending! I highly recommend this remarkable story.
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Reading Progress

March 7, 2017 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)
March 7, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read (Kindle Edition)
April 18, 2017 – Started Reading
April 18, 2017 – Shelved
April 18, 2017 –
April 23, 2017 –
29.0% "I usually don't enjoy this genre much, but this story is well-written and compelling."
April 27, 2017 –
65.0% "The crime-drama portion of the story is good, but the pages from the killer's diary are GREAT!"
April 29, 2017 –
April 30, 2017 – Finished Reading
May 1, 2017 –
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: awesome
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: brilliant-storytelling
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: delve-into-a-killer-s-mind
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: keeps-you-guessing
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: crime
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: murder
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: psycho
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: psycho-family
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: psychological-thriller
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: suspense

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