3.5 Star Books · Book Reviews · mystery · suspense · thriller

The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker

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The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker

Published: July 10, 2018

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 529

Genres: thriller, mystery, suspense

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: police mysteries, series with cliffhangers to make you read all the books

Read with food: fast food because you’re busy hunting down serial killers

 

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.

 

Review:

I won this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thanks to Goodreads, J.D. Barker and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the book. As always, an honest review from me.

The Fifth to Die seems to be a continuation of the book before it in the series. I haven’t read it, but am able to keep up. Certain references to the characters’ personal lives or little nuances are lost on me, but for the most part makes sense. If you’re looking for a book to really get into the detectives’ lives, then read the whole series. But like most police investigation novels, they’re meant to also be read as a stand alone. Now with that being said, let’s get into the rest of the review.

Teenage girls are going missing in the city of Chicago, and then their bodies found. They’ve been disposed of in some strange ways with other peculiar clues. The police know there’s something strange about it all, but can’t quite put their finger on it. The book takes us through a slow to moderate progression as the cops work to solve the crimes. With the book being over 500 pages, there’s time to dive into the small details of the case and more than just a glance at the characters’ personal lives. While it took me some time to read, the number of pages didn’t feel too overwhelming. I was intrigued throughout.

However, while I enjoyed the book I didn’t absolutely love it. Solving the case pulled me in but I didn’t connect with the anger/passion towards finding the serial killer’s past.

Overall an enjoyable slow burn of a police mystery. I recommend reading the other books in the series first to get the most out of it.

 

 

Do you ever read books in a series out of order?

3 Star Books · Book Reviews · mystery · thriller

Book Review: Last Witness by Chris Merritt

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Last Witness by Chris Merritt

Published by Bookouture on July 24, 2018

Pages: 325

Genres: mystery, thriller

Rating: 3 stars

Recommend to fans of: crime thrillers set in the U.K., the balance between police work and family life

Read with: a roast chicken and potato dinner~ appropriately matches the homey feel of the characters’ personal lives

 

Synopsis: 

What if you made one mistake and it came back to kill you? 

Detective Zac Boateng’s old friend, Troy McEwen, is found dead in his home. The official verdict is suicide. But Boateng believes it was murder. And he thinks he might be next on the killer’s list.

If Troy didn’t take his own life, then who did? As he investigates, Boateng discovers a link to an incident from decades earlier. Mistakes were made that day. Lives were lost and secrets kept. Until now…

As more people who were there on that fateful day are found dead, Boateng knows that the killer is closing in on him…

Review: 

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

Overall I enjoyed Last Witness, but it didn’t wow me. The premise is cliche, but it works. Supposed suicides that only a few people think might actually be murders. As I have found, cliches are cliches for a reason. Because they work. And it does work in this book. The story holds up and generally held my interest throughout. However it took me awhile to be completely pulled into the story. For it to really find it’s footing. I think this might be since the story bounced around a lot at the beginning.

When the book found it’s footing halfway through, I just kept reading to find out who was the killer. I appreciated that both male and female police are represented well. Also, the characters’ family lives are well established and create believable characters. The story still focuses mostly on the mystery, but it’s evident that there’s an entire backstory for all the characters. The author gives them a depth and realness that rounds out the story.

In general, the book has a bit of an unsure start, but comes together to intrigue the reader.

 

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