Month: August 2018

The Fifth to Die #4MK

Author: J.D. Barker
Published: July 10, 2018
416 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 2- 15, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

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.

Jessica’s Review:

My review of The Fourth Monkey, the first in the series is here.

J.D. Barker is back with The Fifth to Die, sequel to The Fourth Monkey (4MK). This is another brilliant novel in the series.  Be warned in advance:  there is a cliffhanger to this one…. I need the third (and possibly final??? ) book now!   I really like Detective Porter and Bishop is just frightening and now we see where he gets it from: His mother!

I would say you could read The Fifth to Die before 4MK, but I would not recommend it at all!  You would see what’s going on as this novel goes into the past some, BUT you would miss so many of the details and you NEED to know 4MK’s gruesome background!  You will not understand the brutality or how extreme of a sociopath Bishop is without reading 4MK

There is quite the punch of activities that occur in a short amount of time in Fifth. We have multiple POVs and more than one bad guy. The mystery with what is going on with the girls keeps you reading wondering what will happen next.  And thank you J.D. Barker for totally freaking me out by the overdose one character dies of: I am currently taking that medication!! 

Bishop is fast becoming a favorite serial killer of mine and I look forward to see what Barker brings us next in this series. I just hope it isn’t too long!

The reason I rated The Fifth to Die 4.5 stars (rounded up to five for Goodreads, Amazon, etc) was that I personally wanted more of Bishop in the novel.  His presence wasn’t as high in this one as I wanted.  BUT we do get another frightening serial killer!  J.D. Barker, how do you come up with these characters in your mind?????

Special thanks to the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and J.D. Barker for my arc copies!

The Fifth to Die is highly recommended!

Giveaway Alert!!!:

**Be sure to go to Jessica’s Reading Room on Facebook for a chance to win a SIGNED arc copy of The Fifth to Die sent to me by J.D. Barker!! It runs through Saturday morning!!!!

Blog Blitz: Fractured by Billy McLaughlin

Today I get to kick off the Blog Blitz for Fractured by Billy McLaughlin!  I will be sharing the Prologue with you and there will be reviews later this week on the tour!

Book Description:

Ellie Caldwell lives in constant fear. Two deadly events in her life have left her forever traumatized. One, she relives in her nightmares. The other, so devastating she has completely omitted it from her memory. Once more she’s staring into the face of death. Locked up in a psychiatric ward, she finds herself accused of murder. She’ll have to run for her life if she wants to save it…

Marissa Hall lives in a constant battle with her inner voices after she was left with devastating burns on her face. In her mind, as she descends into madness, revenge is the only way of evening the score. She’ll have to destroy someone else’s life to take back her own…

Two women’s lives will intertwine as one’s quest for truth faces off with the other’s lust for revenge.

Book Trailer for Fractured:

Pre-order Fractured here.
Publication day: August 31st
 209 pages


A red ribbon of blood slithered toward the toppled chair and broken table.

On the visible side of the kitchen, a body lay in a flattened heap, while a naked flame had burned up in the large pan on the five-ringed range. Flames flickered orange against the walls of winter grey. A clock ticked in unison, marrying the sound of crackling embers.​

The scent of burning flesh was like charcoal round the rim of her nostrils. She ran her tongue along her crusty dry lip, the taste of devoured Rioja rested on the tip of her tongue. She couldn’t remember drinking the bottle. Nor anything that had happened afterwards.​

A glance in the mirror, its silver frame draped in a black, ornate foliage design, her ghostlike reflection pale and listless from shock.​

She forced herself to move forward. Just one step.​

The world slowed down. She felt numb. A flash, not exactly a memory but a snapshot of something horrid and almost forgotten. Her mind was frantic, her exterior perfectly poised and fashioned into the epitome of calm. When she looked back into the mirror, she saw nothing more than the frame of a mannequin in the window of a shop.​

She eyed the outside world at the far end of the kitchen. Where had daylight gone?​

Dread rattled; a ball of vomit forming in her gut and rising toward her chest. She threw her hands to her mouth and killed off a scream. Her eyes blinked frantically. She wanted to call his name. Maybe if she said it loud enough, he would hear her and open his eyes. Her legs began to quiver, almost as if they were no longer her own and she couldn’t control them.​

As she gripped the frame of the kitchen door, she saw something move at the corner of her eye. A hand. Someone else was there. It crept slowly from behind the breakfast bar. It was then the woman realised she and her husband weren’t alone. The clock continued to tick. She could no longer hold it back. The scream she had fought so gallantly to muffle finally exploded and rang through the air.​

About the Author:

Billy McLaughlin is the author of the Glasgow based DI Phil Morris series. Opening with the #1 thriller ‘Lost Girl,’ he followed it up with ‘In the Wake of Death‘ & ‘The Daughter‘. Work on a fourth DI Phil Morris entry is now underway.

His novelette ‘Invisible‘ first arrived in March 2016 to rave reviews and was then followed by stand-alone novella ‘The Dead of Winter‘ and the award-winning ‘Krampus‘, a novelette released to raise money for an illness called NKH.

Boasting nearly 20,000 downloads in 2 years, McLaughlin unleashes his seventh release ‘Fractured‘ on 31st August. The story reveals the fate of a character who previously graced the pages of his work, whilst spinning an entirely new twisted tale about two traumatized women who seek vengeance.

To see more information on future releases, please see his Facebook Page or contact him via email.

**Jessica’s review of Invisible is here.**

Contact Billy:
Twitter @bilbob2



Standalone Sunday: We All Looked Up

Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads. She sadly passed away earlier this year and was the heart of the book blogger community. She was always so welcoming and helpful towards others and she is missed.  From time to time I will post a Standalone Sunday and will make sure to remember Megan.

What is Standalone Sunday?

Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten. They can be just as great as book series!

My selection for this week is by Tommy Wallach:

We All Looked Up

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in Tommy Wallach’s New York Times bestselling “stunning debut” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels: The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.

This is one I recently picked up at a used bookstore.  This one looks intriguing as I find all Apocalyptic “end of the world” movies, tv shows, and books fascinating. I think I like to see how people act in different circumstances- and we always get a variety of actions of people. For me that is one reason I enjoy The Walking Dead. It’s about the PEOPLE!  It’s the Psychology people! 

Has anyone read this one or can recommend a good Apocalyptic book/movie/tv show to me?

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Remembering Megan:
Megan’s presence on social media is gone, but I will remember her! It’s sad that a life so young ended.