The Fifth to Die Review

Synopsis from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

A 4MK Thriller

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.

About: The Fifth to Die is a mystery thriller written by J.D. Barker. It was recently published on 7/10/2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 416 pages. The genres are mystery, suspense, thriller, and fiction. This is book 2 in a duology called A 4MK Thriller, where book 1 was called The Fourth Monkey. (This might be a series because there’s a cliffhanger to this book). According to the publisher’s website, “HMH is an organization rooted in purpose and strengthened by passion. Our values drive our decisions, shape our strategies and shine through in everything we do: Curiosity, Commitment, Effectiveness and Reliability, Learning, Performance, and Best in Class.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading The Fifth to Die on 8/13/2018 and finished it on 8/24/2018. This book is a fascinating read, especially following the police force with their investigations and the IT guy! I love the ice explanation and how the killer take extra time to commit such heinous acts in public places. I enjoy the humor between Porter and Nash, and even with the medical examiner Eisley. Each chapter is a heart pounding read and left you with a cliffhanger. A new chapter begins and the results is not what you thought it would be. It happened more than once for me. Definitely a read you could hardly put down. (There’s just one part I can’t handle and it’s following Lili’s thoughts. I can’t handle reading about her torture.)

This book is told in the third person point of view following Detective Porter, well known for his role in chasing the serial killer 4MK, as he and his partner Nash are on their way to a crime scene, an aftermath of a 15 year old girl, Ella Reynolds who went missing after school. Late that night, Detective Porter receives a call regarding another missing girl named Lili Davies. The dead girl found under the ice happens to wear the same clothes as the new missing girl. Readers will also follow Lili Davies, told in third person point of view as a victim. Many other point of views are of Clair, Poole, and Nash, fellow Detectives investigating the crimes and there’s views for the killer(s) too and other victims as well. Book 1 left off where the killer got in touch with Detective Porter to ask Porter to return him a favor. This sequel picks up with more intensity and a bigger puzzle to solve.

The Fifth to Die is very well written and developed. All of the characters has personalities you couldn’t help but want to read all about what they have to say. I love reading the detective work and how they are looking for clues, connections, and trails left behind by the killer. This story is big and deals with many characters and victims. I would recommend to read the duology back to back to keep up with the flow. I like the mystery and suspense. I like how smart the characters are: the police, the killers, and the victims and yet the killer seems to stay half a step ahead. Despite the disturbing tortures, reading this book is most interesting because I get to follow many clever thoughts and work through many tough problems with the police. Love the twists! I most definitely recommend everyone to read this duology, just beware of torturing though.

Pro: past paced, page turner, adrenaline rush, suspense, mystery, couldn’t put down, humor, investigation

Con: victims torture is more than I can handle; disturbing

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping:  Book Depository or HMHCO’s website

About the Author:

J. D. BARKER is the international best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Debut Novel. In addition, he has been asked to coauthor a prequel to Dracula by the Stoker family. Barker splits his time between Englewood, Florida, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo obtained from Edelweiss and Info obtained from HMHCO’s website).

More information about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author J.D. Barker, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


15 thoughts on “The Fifth to Die Review

    • Jasmine says:

      Thanks Diana. It’s a long one but it doesn’t finish so if you don’t get a chance to read it, might as well wait for book 3 to come out and read then. The cliffhanger is big for this book.


  1. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    It does sound super interesting, Jasmine! I’d heard of The Forth Monkey before when it was going around multiple blogs but never got to read it. I don’t think it’s my type of read, anyway, but I enjoyed reading your review very much 🙂 I can tell you were excited about it and engaged throughout, which is pretty cool.
    Keep up the wonderful work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. raistlin0903 says: this one I really want to read. Love the premise for this, and I always like these kinds of thrillers ( I saw a terrific film last year called Wind River, that kind of reminds me a little bit of this one). As always: great review! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

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