The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker

The Fourth Monkey - J.D. Barker

I don’t read a ton of straight up thrillers because the police procedural bits usually don’t thrill me but this one did. It’s about a serial killer (those I do like!) and not only does it follow the current day rush to find a kidnapped teen left for dead, it also tells the creepy tale of the killer’s super weird and rather disturbing childhood. He and his parents lived in a picture perfect neighborhood and had the picture perfect marriage but they weren’t like other parents and I was riveted from page one of the killers spectacularly lurid diary that was filled with juicy secrets. Oh how I love juicy secrets! 



I’m not going to tell you much of anything about the plot because I’m too lazy and you don’t really want things spoiled for yourself, do you? Why read the book if a review tells you everything? And this is one you’ll want to read and discover all on your own. If you’re into thrillers and dysfunctional households, I think you’re really going to enjoy this one. 



What I will tell you is that the way this story is told kept me hooked. It alternates between the victim’s ordeal, the police attempting to figure it all out and the killer’s diary. All of these stories are compelling and kept things moving. The characterization is pretty awesome too and that’s a rarity in many of the books I read. The dynamic between the group working on the case felt very realistic and the main man on the case is wounded to his very soul and is extremely sympathetic. I liked him, I felt for him and I ached for his heartbreak. It takes a lot to make me feel much of anything but when it’s done right, as it is here, I am glued to the pages. This darn book kept me up until 1:30 in the morning when I had to get up at 6 for work. I NEVER do that but I had to learn all the secrets and get all the answers. I’m totally regretting it today.



I also loved the creepy characterization of the young killer in the diary. He reminded me a lot of young Norman Bates of Bates Motel (oh, how I miss that show) and his too adult for his age word choices didn’t seem at all out of place in his strange little world. 


I’m terrible at figuring out mysteries and most clues completely go over my head and, as per usual, I didn’t see many of these twists coming but that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot. If you’re a die-hard mystery/thriller fan you may have a different experience – or you might not. Either way, it’s tough to put down and I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a read.

This twisted quote is my absolute favorite. It makes me laugh every time I read it. But don’t read it if want to go in blind.

 

 

"Oh, I didn’t beat him. I pushed him down the stairs, chained him to the water pipe, then went to work trying to slice the evil out of him. It was messy work, and even after three hours I’m afraid I only made a dent in it. I worked up such an appetite, though.”

 

(show spoiler)

 

 


I received an ARC from Booklover Catlady Publicity. Thanks for the twisted read!