I am very excited to be the stop for the blog tour for J.D. Barker’s upcoming novel The Fourth Monkey. It will be available next week. I loved this book! My review and more is below:
416 pages in Paperback
To Be Published: June 27, 2017
Dates Read: May 30-June 12, 2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
Book Summary from Amazon:
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.
The Fourth Monkey (4MK) was my first novel by J.D. Barker and it will not be my last! It was brilliantly disturbing and I loved every page of it! 4MK is about a serial killer who has terrorized Chicago for five years, but then he is found dead and it appears he has taken one final victim. It becomes a race against time to find 4MK’s latest victim before it is too late.
There are multiple narrators in this novel, and if you follow my reviews then you already know I enjoy those types of novels. The main narrators are Detective Sam Porter, the final victim, and even 4MK through diary entries. We get to know Detective Porter well and learn about his private life, which is not perfect. Porter has been on this case since the beginning and he wants to end this case for good.
This is a very intense, dark and disturbing novel to read. The chapters are short, which gives you that “just one more chapter” feeling and I did not want to put it down. EVER. 4MK is being compared to Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, and like both, 4MK has very graphic violence in it, so it will not be for everyone. J.D. Barker is vivid in his descriptions. For example, at one point I was reading a scene that involved a rat and could picture everything clearly in my mind. I cringed as I was reading because I thought the scene was going to go in a certain direction and could see that direction in my head.
The diary entries are very unsettling as we see the influences that show how 4MK became what he is today. I believe a person can have a tendency for things such as violence, but one’s environment can also affect a person. 4MK never had a chance to become anything other than what he did. That is what makes those diary entries so disturbing. For me the diary entries were more violent and troubling than the current case.
4MK takes place over a very intense and short time period. Barker does a remarkable job pulling you in and taking you for this ride with Porter as 4MK reaches its conclusion. I thought I knew what the ending was going to be about 125 pages in, but I am glad to report that I was wrong.
I am very selective with my choice of five star reviews, and 4MK receives one! In fact, I think it will be in my list of top reads of the year.
4MK is very highly recommended.
Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my arc review copy and for Booklover Catlady Publicity & Reviews for having me on the blog tour!
If you like the idea of The Fourth Monkey and think it should be a film, then you are in luck! Barker has sold publishing rights for The Fourth Monkey in America and other countries, and also has a TV and movie deal.
Do you want a draft copy of The Fourth Monkey? Check out this contest HERE that is going on!
Do you want to be a character in J.D.’s next book? Check out this contest HERE he has going on right now!
About the Author
Barker was born January 7, 1971 in Lombard, Illinois and spent the first fourteen years of his life in Crystal Lake, Illinois. A staunch introvert, he was rarely seen without a book in hand, devouring both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series by the age of six before moving on to classics such as the works of Dickens and Twain. The discovery of Shelley, Stoker and Poe fueled a fire and it wasn’t long before he was writing tales of his own which he shared with friends and family. These early stories centered around witches and ghosts thought to inhabit the woods surrounding their home.
At fourteen, Barker’s family relocated to Englewood, Florida, a climate better suited to his father’s profession as a contractor. He attended Lemon Bay High School and graduated in 1989. Knowing he wanted to pursue a career in the arts but unsure of a direction, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he later obtained a degree in business. While in college, one of his writing assignment found its way into the hands of Paul Gallotta of Circus Magazine. Gallotta reached out to Barker and asked him to join the staff of 25th Parallel Magazine where he worked alongside the man who would later become Marilyn Manson. Assignments dropped him into the center of pop culture and by 1991 Barker branched out, interviewing celebrities for the likes of Seventeen, TeenBeat, and other national and local publications. In 1992, Barker syndicated a small newspaper column called Revealed which centered around the investigation of haunted places and supernatural occurrences. While he often cites these early endeavors as a crash course in tightening prose, his heart remained with fiction. He began work as a book doctor and ghostwriter shortly thereafter, helping others fine tune their writing for publication. Barker has said this experience proved invaluable, teaching him what works and what doesn’t in today’s popular fiction. He would continue in this profession until 2012 when he wrote a novel of his own, titled Forsaken.
Stephen King read portions of Forsaken prior to publication and granted Barker permission to utilize the character of Leland Gaunt of King’s Needful Things in the novel. Indie-published in late 2014, the book went on to hit several major milestones – #2 on Audible (Harper Lee with Go Set a Watchman held #1), #44 on Amazon U.S., #2 on Amazon Canada, and #22 on Amazon UK. Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others including a New Apple Medalist Award. After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker’s family reached out to Barker and asked him to co-author a prequel to Dracula utilizing Bram’s original notes and journals, much of which has never been made public.
Barker’s indie success drew the attention of traditional agents and publishers and in early 2016 his debut thriller, The Fourth Monkey, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set to publish in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the UK. The book has also sold for both film and television.
Barker splits his time between Englewood, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife, Dayna.
Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Promised Lies by Marguerite Ashton. Today we are going to hear from Morgan, Lily’s best friend and partner.
Detective Lily Blanchette has a lot on her plate. Her sister, Celine, was murdered, her parents are on the verge of divorce, and after a whirlwind romance, she married a man she barely knows.
When the bodies of two young women are found, it is clear that the killer is the same person who murdered her sister, Lily sets out to find out who that is.
As the investigation comes to life, Lily realises that all is not as it seems in her life, who can she actually trust and who is she?
Hi. I’m Morgan Danvers, Lily’s best friend and partner in Promised Lies.
Some may remember me as Chelsey before that silly author had the nerve to kill me off in the other book, Led by Lies. Well thank goodness, she decided to expand the book and keep me alive this time around.
Yes, through fan comments and reviews, I got a chance to live!
So, let’s see, being Lily’s partner through all this is just exasperating. She’s so up-tight in those damn loafers. But I can probably understand some of the reasons. Lily’s mom is a control freak and the last thing Lily wants to do is be like her mom.
Thank goodness for Lily’s dad. He’s just so cool. I wish I had him for a father.
Anyway, Lily’s all about family and work. She just wants to have some stability in her life. That’s where I come along. We balance each other out, during a case and in general situations. We tell the truth to each other, even if the other one wants to hear it or not.
We met in the police academy and have been friends ever since.
About the Author:
When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer. Five kids later, she founded the Crime Writer’s Panel and began working with former law enforcement investigators to create; Criminal Lines Blog, an online library for crime writers who need help with their book research.
She’s a workaholic who hides in her writer’s attic, plotting out her next book and stalking Pinterest for the next avocado recipe.
A member of Sisters in Crime, Marguerite grew up in Colorado, but is now happily living in Wisconsin and playing as much golf as possible. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
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Today I am one of blog stops for The Silence by Katharine Johnson, which was released on June 8, 2017. Today we are going to hear a from Philippa, who is one of the characters in the novel. Who exactly is she? You will have to read The Silence to know for sure!
Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle – and a secret that could destroy everything.
When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity.
In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.
My name is Philippa. I’m fourteen and I live in Tuscany. Please don’t tell me I’m lucky to live here because that’s not how I see it. I can see the surroundings are beautiful but that’s not the point. I never chose to move out here. My parents told us we were going on holiday for a couple of weeks. We packed up the camper van and left England and I had no idea we wouldn’t be coming back. We drove all over Europe, staying a few nights here, a few weeks there. And this is where we ended up – Villa Leonida, an old wreck with a curse on it at the top of a mountain.
I don’t know how long we’ll stay here but it’s been six months now which is the longest we’ve stayed anywhere. What really upsets me is that I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to my boyfriend Josh or explain that we were moving. Mum says they just fancied a change of scene and with Dad’s job as a writer we could live anywhere. I’m not sure though. I’m starting to think there might be another reason. I thought she enjoyed her work.
Then we’re told we have a cousin that we’ve never heard of and she’s coming to stay. Her mum topped herself and she doesn’t speak so I can’t see it being laugh-a-minute having her here but at least it will help break up the monotony, I suppose. Apparently Mum used to be best friends with her mum so it’s strange she’s never mentioned her. Dad’s a bit funny about her coming to stay. They’ve had a couple of blazing rows about it but then what’s new?
About the Author:
Katharine Johnson is a freelance writer and editor and has worked for a variety of magazines. She has a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. When not writing, she plays netball badly and is a room guide in a stately home. Her next novel The Silence, a psychological/coming of age story set in Tuscany will be published on June 8th.
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