Thursday, July 6, 2017

Evil X 4 Divided by 2

The Fourth Monkey – J D Barker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Hear No Evil…get a victim’s ear, delivered in a neatly wrapped box tied with black string.

See No Evil…get a victim’s eyes, delivered in a neatly wrapped box tied with black string.

Speak No Evil… get a victim’s tongue, delivered in a neatly wrapped box tied with black string.

Get The Fourth Monkey, by J D Barker and get the thriller of the year, thus far, delivered in the form of a book that divides the storyline into two neatly gripping sections.

The Four Monkey Killer (4MK) has been plying his evil trade for five years terrorizing Chicago and we get dropped right into the middle of a bubbling story with the arrival of the first neatly wrapped box, tied in black string and containing his latest victim’s ear. You know the old saw about the monkeys who hear, see, and speak no evil, but this troop comes with an extra member.

Author J D Barker spins out a twisted tale of an ultra-smart serial killer who is not only hell bent on yanking the chains of those trying to catch him, but along the way he has made the case and helped the cops to roll up some folks who were doing evil that they didn’t even know about.

Is 4MK dead…the victim of an apparent suicide or is this just another twist; a curve ball to keep the cops guessing? Barker drops a malicious clue in the form of the killer diary which details the killer’s twisted childhood and the making of a future serial killer.

While Barker alternates between the current chase and the killers diary, I defy you to try not to bounce ahead to see where the next twist in either tail leads. 

This is a great concept and the execution is spot on! Barker sets the hook early and the race is on with relentless pacing, great hairpin turns and enough twists to keep you guessing until the final pages. Hands down my favorite fiction of the year and I am ready for what’s next from the devious mind of J D Barker.   

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