Audio Review: The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker

Title: The Fourth Monkey (4MK #1)
Author: @jdbarker
Narrators: Eduardo Ballerini & Graham Winton
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Length: 12 hours and 31 mins, 421 pages
Rating: 4.25 Stars


The most anticipated thriller of the year – Optioned for both film and television

Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called, “A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.”

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive. 

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

Grace Review

Story: 4 stars
A twisted and suspenseful ride, as the hunt for a missing girl leads to the past where a demented upbringing and betrayal create a serial killer.

If you are fan of the movie Se7en, this will be right in your wheel house. There are a lot of similarities between the two stories. Se7en was based on the 7 Deadly Sins, this story is based on the Chinese proverb – Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil. The fourth monkey being, Do No Evil. From there, the story follows the theme from Se7en of eliminating those who have wronged others. The author even gives a SO to Se7en with the discovery of a box.

But this story is not a copy of Se7en. There was no predictable outcome and even more than that, I was shocked where the story led.

While this story features several POVs, the most prominent are from the detective, Porter, who is trying to find the missing girl, while at the same time uncover more about 4MK. The second main POV is from 4MK himself. His story is told via a diary which Porter finds at a crime scene.

What 4MK does to his victims and how it ties to the Monkey theme, is disturbing on it’s own, especially reading about one of his victims waiting for Step Two (which I won’t giveaway). However, even more disturbing is 4MK’s childhood. It almost seemed like a manual on “How to Create a Serial Killer”. To be clear, 4MK’s parents are NOT NORMAL. Holy shit!!!! I could not believe these scenes. And the counterbalance of their seemingly perfect lives, made it that more shocking. “Right Champ?”

What I loved with this story, with the unusual path the Detective team took to discover more about 4MK. The search felt more frantic due to Emory’s status. Her POV will make your skin crawl and had me pleading to my audio book, “hurry up, hurry up.” For a mystery lover, how the past connects to the present was totally unexpected. The ultimate revenge.

If you can guess by the book number, this story isn’t over. There isn’t a cliffhanger per se, but definitely a morsel for the reader to want more.

Performance: 4.5 stars
This audio features two narrators and I thought they each did a great job.
The voice of Porter has a hard, weathered edge to it that you’d expected from an older detective who has seen his share of horrific things over his career.
The voice of 4MK had a childlike quality. I’m not sure if missed a part where they mentioned his age in the diary, but I suspected someone young and innocent. But as you’ll learn, he is far from innocent.

Overall: 4.25 stars
Mystery lovers looking for a dark story will have something to sink their teeth into with this book.

– Grace

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  1. […] “Mystery lovers looking for a dark story will have something to sink their teeth into with this book.” —After Dark Book Lovers […]

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