BOOK CLUB: The Fifth To Die

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Author: J.D. Barker
ISBN: 9780008250393
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 23rd July 2018
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Fifth To Die is the sequel to The Fourth Monkey, these are the first two books in the 4MK Thriller series. I have heard that though this is the second in a series it does stand alone convincingly.

Dark, disturbing and a chilling insight into the mind of a serial killer; this one is not going to be for the faint of heart.

A young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of a lagoon and there is a list of inconsistencies that make the whole scene fail to add up. The police department start working on the case while Detective Porter continues investigating the 4MK case in secret, until he finds himself suspended.

The Fifth To Die is a race against a serial killer as the detectives do their best to stop the body count rising while Detective Porter follows leads that will hopefully assist them with another serial killer.

Gritty, dark and disturbing this one has had some great reviews. Some of our members are reading and I can’t wait to find out what they think.

J.D. Barker can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and his Website.

The Fifth To Die is out now. Thanks to HQ Fiction 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will also be reading The Fifth to Die so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.


19 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Fifth To Die

  1. JD Barker is a gifted author and has written an absolute page turner. We are introduced to Detective Sam Porter and a large assembly of characters who are either victims, family members, colleagues or the suspected serial killer Anson Bishop. Detective Porter is investigating the suspected murder of a young girl, found frozen beneath an ice-covered lake, however her body has only been there for three weeks and the lake has been frozen for three months. We then learn of even more murder victims and it is now a race against time to find this serial killer and stop him before there are any more victims.

    Although this is offered as a stand-alone book, I found there were numerous references to the first book, The Fourth Monkey. This made some of the storyline a little confusing as I haven’t read The Fourth Monkey and I had to accept that I wasn’t able to understand some of the references to 4MK and the events of the previous book.

    To read of the thoughts, fears and psychological processes that these characters experience has been very interesting and JD Barker certainly has a vivid imagination. I would happily recommend this book to anyone who likes to be on the edge of their seat, who is willing to imagine the horrific events that the author describes and to be engrossed in the suspense of the chase. Thank you to HQ (Harper Collins Publishers) and Beauty and Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read this fantastic psychological thriller.

  2. This is a fantastic book which I could not put down! I will also say I was not a fan of serial crime books but I am now! Whilst I havent read the previous book by JD Barker, The fourth monkey, I could follow the story easily. There were many references to the previous book so I have put a hold on a book at my local library! Cant wait to read it.

    I loved all the characters in Fifth to die, they all fit, were totally believable and they felt solid. JD Barkers talent to twist and turn is one of a kind with one line throwing a spin on where you think the story is heading. For such a thick book, it took me an amazingly quick time to finish it.

    I really felt for detective Sam Porter who investigated from the start. Anson Bishop has become entangled in his whole life and just when you think he got his life back on track, WHAM! But on the other side, did he bring all this on himself?

    I enjoyed the fact that we not only saw inside the detectives minds who were working the cases, but the girls minds from the time they were taken but also the mind of the killer. Amazing insight!

    Thank you for allowing me to read FIfth to Die. I will be rereading again!

  3. Warning to all!!!

    Before you read this book you will need to read the first book in the series The Fourth Monkey otherwise the book will not make sense at times and you will find yourself lost.

    I love all things dark and twisted so this was right up my alley. I found this book multilayered so it took longer for me to get right into it especially with the opening moving slowly but the speed and suspense increases as the plot unfolds.

    Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer is still on the loose and Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt by the feds. Porter is assigned to another case where a girl went missing and was found murdered in very strange circumstances. Porter who is fixated on Bishop secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK but when the captain finds out about his activities, he is suspended from all investigations but obsessively continues his pursuit of Anson Bishop. All i can say is strap in and enjoy the ride without falling off your seat as there will be moments you will come close!

    It is extremely well written and haunting which we all want out of a psychological crime thriller so fingers crossed for a third book!

    Thank you Harper Collins Publishers and Beauty and Lace Book Club for one hell of a book!

  4. The fifth to die is a captivating and enjoyable psychological thriller that was very well written. I haven’t read anything by J.D. Barker before but I really enjoyed the writing style. I hadn’t read the first book “The Fourth Monkey” as I didn’t realise this existed, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and found it easy to follow. I would recommend reading the first book prior to this one if given the opportunity as it would add to your understanding of this novel as there were a few little bits that I felt like I didn’t fully understand.

    The book was fast paced, with chapters flicking between many characters. The closer to the end you get, the pace gets even quicker as the chapters get shorter and flick more rapidly between characters which just makes you want to keep reading and reading. There isn’t really a main character as such as we get to know so many characters through the book and follow their journeys, some of which come to a tragic end.

    The story is filled with crime and details some quite horrific events, so it is probably best to be aware of that before you start. As the book progressed and the story developed it always had me thinking and once I thought I had figured something out another twist would be thrown in. It isn’t until the very last page that everything is tied together, and then there is still enough left open to leave us longing for a third book. It was bittersweet when I finally got to the final page which reads ‘To be concluded’ because while I wanted to find out more answers, I also am happy to get to read another whole novel like this one. I would recommend reading this book!

  5. I recently read the book The Fifth to Die by JD Barker. There is a previous book – called the Fourth Monkey which I didn’t know about – so while reading it there were reference to 4MK and I was missing bits and pieces in reference to the previous story. This was quite confusing, and I felt it was disjointed as I didn’t know the full story before. I would go back and read the first, but now there doesn’t seem to be a point because it would be out of sequence to what I just read. But once I figured out there was a previous story I was hooked on reading it!

    I liked the twists in the relationships of the characters – how their paths had crossed before, they were good little links. The book was easy to read as well, and the scenes and actions were well described.

    But there were a few things I came across I didnt quite like. How it would’ve been better and made much more sense to read the first book. I found every few pages he dedicated a couple of them to “evidence” – but I just read all of that in the actual chapters so didn’t need to be repeated I thought.

    The most frustrating, was reading through to find the ending …. to have it say “to be concluded”. No ending to a story I’ve just spent days reading?! I was disappointed. I now have to wait til the next book, but that was really disappointing to not have a satisfying conclusion to wrap everything together. It could have been wrapped up, and then a new morsel of information added to keep it going if that was the purpose.

    Overall I liked the book, but realising probably reading the first book would be beneficial, and no ending to a story was bothersome to me. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read the Fifth to Die by JD Roberts.

  6. Thanks Beauty & Lace & Harper Collins for the opportunity to read The Fifth to Die

    Although this book was a great thriller & read well with plenty of intrigue for a stand alone book I can understand why it would have been easier to understand if I had read the first book The Fourth Monkey.A very descriptive & characterful read that I did enjoy & would recommend but as others have commented “to be concluded” was really annoying.Now I have to wait for the next thriller in the series

  7. I absolutely loved this book,
    I wish I had read the previous book The Fourth Monkey might have got the gist of the story a bit better,
    Anyway was a superb book to read full of twists and turns was a hard book to put down
    There must be a third book cause at the end said “To Be Concluded” which sort of leaves the reader hanging
    Thanks for selecting me to read this book

  8. This story is one of a series. As a standalone book it is a little confusing at times, while the book is well written & the storyline is definitely intriguing – the book ends with a ‘to be concluded’. After spending days reading a book that is supposedly a standalone book, the ending was frustrating.

  9. “The Fifth to Die” is the second instalment in the Detective Porter series; this is not well telegraphed in the blurb, and nor is the fact that this doesn’t really stand alone well. There’s enough recapping in the plot that you can grasp what’s happened in book one, although I had a vague sense that I probably hadn’t really got all the important details. More importantly, this novel doesn’t resolve the plot – it ends on a cliff hanger which carries through to another novel. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this, but I do find it annoying when I realise I’m effectively reading an instalment of a serial, not a complete novel. I like to be forewarned.

    In this novel, Detective Sam Porter is unhappy that he and his team were unable to capture the serial killer Anson Bishop; he continues to brood and to continue an unapproved personal investigation. Meanwhile, he and his team are brought in to investigate the murder of teenager Ella Reynolds – an investigation which becomes more urgent as another teenage girl goes missing. The press is quick to blame Bishop, but Porter and his team have good reason to believe a new serial killer is at work.

    There’s a really interesting plot here, and although Barker doesn’t shy away from the routine parts of an investigation, it moves fast and never fails to keep the reader’s interest. Barker writes well, and has a good ear for dialog. It’s easy to believe in the characters and their actions, and most readers will quickly empathise with the members of the investigating team.

    Although I was irritated by the lack of resolution, simply because I wasn’t expecting it, overall I enjoyed this book. It’s a well written thriller that hews to the traditions of the genre while still injecting originality. Although it’s a longish book, and the plot spreads across at least three novels, it didn’t feel unnecessarily drawn out – it’s well paced.

    Recommended for thriller readers, with the caveat that reading the previous book first would probably improve this one; and you shouldn’t expect major plot resolution in this novel.

  10. Wow, what a great book. From the moment you start its hard to put down.

    At times I was a little confused, thinking I had missed something as the author referred to events etc that hadnt been discussed and it was only when I realised that there was another book that I understood my confusion. It seems like this is advertised as a stand alone book however I feel that this is a little misleading as there were quite a few references to the other book that I felt like I was missing out on something.

    That issue aside, this is a gripping crime novel (not normally my preference) but WOW it is well written with detailed character development and plot. It is easy to get to know the characters and to feel what they are experiencing. The story line is well developed and moves well through the story – not feeling like it is too slow or rushed. There is quite a lot of detail around the how and the why of investigations however this is delivered in a clear and interesting manner.

    I would certainly recommend this series (start with the first book though)!

  11. I’d read so many glowing reviews for The Fourth Monkey I was keen to read the next in the series, The Fifth to Die.

    A teenage girl is found frozen under the ice on a lake. The only thing is the lake has been frozen over for months and the girl has only been missing for three weeks. Another teenager goes missing and the race is on to find out who is behind these abductions. As the body count rises the police are asking themselves, is the fourth monkey killer responsible or could this be a copy-cat killing.

    Porter is back on the case but he is treating it way to personal, so is suspended from duty. But we know this isn’t going to stop him going after Anson Bishop aka 4MK.

    I didn’t mind the story at all up until Porter went off on his own, then the whole plot just got ridiculous. The things Porter did and the risks he took were just unbelievable

    I like a gritty murder mystery as much as the next person but the repeated descriptions of the torture of the girls were too much for me.

    The story became bogged down with the continual run through of the evidence boards and endless police procedurals.
    There were so many things that happened in the story that were unbelievable that the whole plot started to lose credibility.

    By 400 pages I’d had enough and I dragged through the last 100 pages only to have nothing fully resolved.

    I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed this more if I had of read the first book or if I had of read the first book I may have given this a miss all together.

    The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth to Die are both getting rave reviews so I suggest if you enjoy long, gritty crime novels where the ‘unsub’ is a silent, invisible, picklock give this a read and let me know what you think.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for my copy to read and review.

  12. J. D. Baker has a very great imagination. The crimes well thought out, the story in the background slowly drawn forward as the story goes on, stringing the reader along. I have to say I did enjoy this read.

    A girl found under the ice of a frozen lake, the lake frozen for months, the girl disappeared only weeks ago, the story draws you in. Linking into the likelihood of a previous murderer’s involvement the story takes our key detective off the case, he’s too close and too involved. In his absence more girls disappear and more bodies appear, with little forensics and leads slowly drawing forward. Clair, Nash & their associates work hard to put the pieces together before another girl disappears, before another girl dies and before another parent follows the pattern of their child. Can they piece this together before its too late for more?

    Porter, taken off duty for being too involved, does his own research, into the case that has been take over by the FBI. His information invaluable he follows leads and finds more dead in the wake, as do the FBI who are following their own leads left for them in the files from Porter. Will they find the 4MK killer before more people die?

    Despite being the second in a series of books about Detective Porter this book stands well on its own. Any past events eluded to are well explained throughout, except right at the beginning. The start was a bit wierd but as other events occur the pieces fall together in ones mind.

    Thanks for the read, can’ wait for the next in the series… really cannot wait!!!!

  13. Well I’ll start by saying I have read the first book in this series The Fourth Monkey by JD Barker and it was a fantastic read so I have been really hanging out for this latest instalment The Fifth To Die. I did think that this is a stand alone book and that you didn’t need to read the first one before this one, it had a lot of recaps in it to help the reader understand previous events.

    The Fifth To Die is an excellently crafted story with many twists and turns to keep you turning the pages quickly!
    Detective Porter is once again haunted by Anson Bishop who is a very clever and sick serial killer. Anson always kills his victims for a reason, it’s up to the detectives to race against the clock before another girl disappears from the streets, and ends up dead in unusual places.
    Detective Porter’s wife has been murdered last year, so with his mind not clear he thinks he has nothing to loose in chasing Anson down and bringing him to justice. But he’s in for one hell of a ride and he puts himself in danger, can he get out of this alive? And bring Anson to justice or will he slip through his fingers again?

    I was disappointed with the ending. One minute you are rushing to the end with Porter getting close to Anson, then it abruptly ends. I know this is so you want to read the next book, BUT I don’t want to wait that long.

  14. Thank you HQ (Harper Collins Publishers) and Beauty and Lace Bookclub for the opportunity to read The Fifth to Die by J.D.Barker. Firstly I will say that I have not read the previous book, the Fourth Monkey and although there was some references to it I could easily follow the plot and story line although the conclusion left me frustrated with unanswered questions. A psychological thriller with many character perspectives that kept me turning each page with absolute anticipation. I enjoyed the format that each chapter was given from a different main character perspective of events occurring simultaneously. I cant wait for the “conclusion” in the future.

  15. The Fifth To Die always going to be a big read. 526 pages long it seemed quite a challenge given that it was a thriller and therefore a deeper read than usual.

    For me I need a book to capture my attention and pull me in from the first few pages. Well straight away you can tell that this is going to be a book you will find hard to put down.

    The book opens with Detective Sam Porter having a dream where he has been caught and held captive by the very serial killer he is trying to find Anson Bishop.

    The story is about Porter tracking down Bishop but it also a whole lot more than that.
    There are the the stories about the girls themselves. Each one has her own story to tell and this way you are able to see a glimpse of each girls life and find out how they can to be where they are.

    While reading a thriller you can’t but help try to work it all out but with this one you you never will. There are so many new elements added to the story through it’s telling that it’s like adding a new layer as you go along. The story is in depth and with such vivid descriptions that you really feel as though you are along for the ride.

    Part way through I found worked out that this book was part 2 of a series but I don’t think it detracted from the story in any way. Most of the bits you needed to know where told in recaps during the story and the bits that weren’t you could get by with not knowing. Just when you think you’ve worked out a little bit ‘boom’ something else happens and you realise you were wrong again.

    This is an awesome book that I’m sure I’ll read again just to see if I notice a few more things the second read.

    It’s a book that makes you want to keep reading quickly to get to the end to find out what is going to happen, how will it all work out but then the greatest horror of all happens on the last page…..those final three words………..

    you’ll just have to read it to find out.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the book.
    Thanks must also go to J.D. Barker for the most amazing thriller.

  16. The Fifth to Die
    The Fifth to Die, though presented as a stand along novel is also the second instalment in the Detective Porter Series. The plot of The Fourth Monkey is recapped at the beginning of the novel as the plot begins to unfold which provides insight into the previous novel and builds on into the start of The Fifth to Die.
    The novel is very descriptive, manipulative and deeply perceptive. Barker has created a quiet thriller that allows the unsub to seep into the corners of your brain in a quiet and deceptive way, leaving you unable to digest or distinguish enough about them to guess directly as to the direction of the story, the identity of the killer, his accomplice and the turn out of the story.
    As the story unravels you find some revelations about the serial killer and his accomplice slowly drip fed to the reader but not enough to leave you feeling like you know the ending before you get there. There is some amazingly descriptive writing, character development and plot twists which create a positive reading experience.
    Detective Porter, smart, broody, lonely and at times unnerving in his risk-taking abilities is left to investigate the murder of a young girl found beneath a frozen lake with his team. Quickly things are found to not be what the first seem to be as things slowly expose an inability to occur as they seem. Brutal murders continue but the unsub is left as unnamed and only identifiable by a small number of physical features which do not stack up to the description of a know serial killer Anson Bishop and the story must follow two different directions as the plot and investigations separate into different directions. Especially as Porter takes off without letting his team know and without any trace, following leads fed to him and without disregard for his own safety.
    Baker leaves us with a huge open and very frustrating cliff hanger as the story finishes with a to be continued… I was mortified to read this after getting through each page and thinking soon I would have my resolve. That’s not taking away from the fact that I will definitely read the next instalment to continue my hunt for a resolution and ending to the plot at hand.
    Thankyou for the chance to read this novel and I recommend it to those who enjoy a good thriller as part of a series and who can handle a wait for a resolve.

  17. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read the Fifth to Die by JD Roberts. This is the second book, in what will be ,at least, a trilogy. It would have been good to read ‘The Fourth Monkey’ first, but this book is able to stand alone. However I was disappointed with the ending. I prefer a clear cut finish to a story.. It was similar to Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series where it is only on the final page you realise the story will continue.
    .This is a fast paced psychological thriller which I could not put down. It is an incredible story, with many twists and turns involving many characters.. The police use an ‘evidence board’ to keep track and link all the information they have. I feel Roberts must have done the same thing in order to keep all the characters in order..
    The story is linked to a previous serial killer, it is not known if the current series of murders are by this person or a different killer. The murders are proceed by torture and these are described in graphic details. So it is not a book for those easily upset by the written word.
    In the latter part of the book I became a little confused with the story line. I could not understand why Detective Porter pursued Anson Bishop in the way he did, perhaps I need to reread the story as I may have missed something in my eagerness to discover what was coming next.
    This is a great, fast paced book that will be enjoyed by lovers of the genre’. I will be looking to get the third book.

  18. OMG!! This book was AMAZING, one of the best books I’ve ever read. Thrilling, scary, twists and turns everywhere. I was up late many nights because I couldn’t put this down and I didn’t see the ending coming usually you can get an idea but I love books where you are no where near what actually happens. I can’t wait to read to the follow on book from this one.
    Thank you for picking me to read and review such a fabulous book Beauty and Lace

  19. Awesome! Fantastic book!
    Set in Chicago in winter freezing conditions. Finding someone in the lake that’s been frozen for months but the body’s been there only weeks!! Once you start this book you won’t be able to put it down!! I do think reading the first book is a good idea to make things a little clearer.
    Keeps you guessing until the very end.

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