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The Fourth Monkey

Written by: J. D. Barker
Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 that 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.

©2017 J. D. Barker (P)2017 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I want a sequel!

I really enjoyed this book. It was suspensefull with some lighter parts. No gushing love story, just a "I'll listen to just another chapter" kind of book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not fantastic

The writing was ok, but the story was based on a ridiculous premise and it was really hard to get past that. I can’t say much more without spoiling it, but it was just extremely frustrating. The author must think his readers are pretty stupid. His detectives certainly were. But yeah, other than their shockingly awful police work, they were surprising well written. The villain. not so much. Hokey and over the top and just silly and kind of embarrassing.
The narrator for the villain had a grating voice. For the rest, he did well apart from Claire (the female African American officer). I shudder. It was that bad.
I didn’t hate it enough to return it, and the writing was actually pretty ok. I am compelled to read the sequel because it ended on a cliffhanger and I do want closure, but I feel like I’ll be disappointed again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly Enjoyed

I’ve recently listened to Stephen King’s Mercedes Killer series and The Fourth Monkey is similar and just as enjoyable. Somewhat predictable at points but I definitely still recommend it. Happy listening! #Audible1

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

slow burn

I had high hopes for this book but it wasn't as intense I was hoping it would be... I would say it's a slow burn detective book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles Atkinson
  • 2017-08-15

Twisted Knives And Killer Humor

This is the most original serial killer/Police Procedural I have experienced on Audible. Ingenious method writing and a great story with great narration.

Early in the book the police find a diary left for them by the killer. It's written by the killer about significant events that occurred when he was eleven years old. Barker reveals the twisted tale of a family of killers, written in first person, intermittently between chapters of police working desperately to save another victim. It is a grotesquely bizarre tale told in an entirely unique fashion.

The story told around the strange diary is nothing short of brilliant. I do have some holes to fill, but I suspect I was so caught up in the story I missed a few answers. I listened to this in a 24 hour period, which means I most certainly drifted at times.

Do yourself a favor and listen to this masterpiece!



139 of 145 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • shelley
  • 2017-07-09

This is a MUST HAVE mystery...

This book is a must have book for anyone who loves a good mystery. I don't know why but I always hesitate when I see a new unproven author but for a change I didn't and boy am I glad I didn't. This book is one of my better finds this year and the way it's written it looks like it could easily become a series with some very interesting characters.
You have the protagonist aka the police and the antagonist who appears to be a very demented killer. The women he kills are all somehow related to the person he really wants to get at. In his mind killing a loved one will cause the person to suffer more knowing they are to blame.
The killer's story of his life from childhood up is told in the form of a very descriptive diary. You learn early on that he learned his lessons from his parents and grows up to become the 4MK or fourth monkey killer. When he abducts a woman first he sends home an ear, then the eyes and finally their tongue and left to die.
In this book the police are looking for a live victim, thinking that the killer is dead after being hit by a bus. And the race is on in a fast paced heart thumping thriller. The ending is great and leads me to believe there will be more to come.
This book has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.
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216 of 227 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DobieChuck
  • 2017-07-01

What a Fabulous Find

A simply outstanding novel that'll grab you and not let go... The back and forth between the detective and killer as a child pov is done w/ panache, subtlety, and extreme skill... wonderful mood and atmosphere that encourages a binge read... Along w/ some great suspense, gotchas, and chills is some crafty humor of both the dark and light varieties... The Diary format of the killer's life is surreal and engrossing... Talk about a family that slays together stays together, or do they??? Those segments feel like Dexter meets Father Knows Best;). Great characters will have you invested immediately, and chuckling here and there... The mystery flows beautifully between past and present thanks to excellent narration... My only complaint is that now I have another series to be hooked on, and make no mistake, this setups for a dandy of a second book, and I'll be greedily awaiting... If you need a comparison point - I believe fans of Robotham and Deaver will fall ass over tea kettle for this gem... Definitely worth the price and a hungry read...

49 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mel
  • 2017-09-23

Lesser Known Simian Quadruplet...

For over five years Chicago's Finest have been plagued by the taunts of a deranged self-styled vigilante/serial murderer, notified of his latest cause by the delivery of a white box containing the severed ear of his latest victim -- whenever the *cause* strikes him. He focuses on the crimes of the powerful that escape justice, those with enough money and connections to buy the blind eye of legitimate judgment, the white-collar elite too slippery for Lady Justice to hold in her grasp. Those who pay the price of justice, the victims who lose...first, and ear...are condemned by the egregious actions of the person closest to them, innocent scapegoats, chosen to die in order to produce the most painful blow to the real culprit. Because of his demented philanthropic efforts, the public has nicknamed the murderer the 4MK Killer, *the Fourth Monkey Killer, after the *Do No Evil Monkey* (the lesser known sibling of the *wise monkeys* Hear No, See No, and Speak No). Everywhere, you will read comparisons to another book about a psychopathic serial killer/avenger obsessed with the so-called *Seven Deadly Sins.* (Actually, the movie came first, followed by the book written by Anthony Bruno.) It's not hard to picture this book coming to life on the silver screen with similar impact.

Not to belabor the point, but of course a book about a murderer whose hobby it is to torture people is going to be a bit gory, but fortunately, Barker keeps the gore specific but brief...dare I say *clean-cut?* And creative, especially when delivered by the 4MK Killer's own trainers, his oddly elegant parents. The strange mother-father duo spares no etiquette when teaching their young intelligent boy the finer points of murder and torture. These chapters, experienced by the reader by way of a diary the killer leaves for the detectives, give this otherwise gruesome book a tongue-in-cheek comical touch. The abdomen mouse habitat had me struggling with the physical urge to either gag or laugh. It's an ewwww-ha-ha-ewwww moment. The parents, before they go completely off the rails, are at times laugh out loud funny in a Gomez and Morticia Addams kind of way.

There are more than a few cunning twists to the plot, and several revelations that are *BOOM* right in your face. The astute book shopper might notice that in some markets there is a subtitle: *(A 4MK Thriller, #1),* which will have you listening to the opening scenes where the terminally ill 4MK Killer steps in front of a bus, with some confusion. Barker doesn't exactly leave you dangling with the ending, instead, he gives you some pliable options in the case that he really decides to write #2. Either way, the book left me with a satisfied quasi-conclusion. The characters are distinctive, diverse, and in some cases, imbued with an acerbic morbid wit. Mistaken identity, Psychopathy, Sex, Mobsters, Embezzlement, and Medications...The Fourth Monkey is a well-plotted, thrilling, psycho-logical drama that didn't disappoint this reader...disgusted at times? maybe...but in the best way.

52 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine
  • 2017-12-01

Well written, but not my thing..

For hard core crime story buffs. I like more character development with the investigation enhancing the personalities. It's a preference thing.

Well written, performed, but attention to details I didn't think added to the story. Again, probably a matter of taste.

39 of 44 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 2017-07-16

Great story, great narration, kept me guessing

Great story, lots of twists and turns to keep the listener guessing. Narration was perfect for this audiobook. Wanted to skip to the end! Figured out a big part of the plot early on, but still couldn't figure out the whole thing. Lots of pieces to this puzzle that any mystery/thriller fan will enjoy!

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • PlantCrone
  • 2017-12-09

A real twisty turny plot..loved it!

The Fourth Monkey was a great listen, and narrator Ballerini always gives a good reading.

I usually can figure out who done it early in the book, but I didn't with The Fourth Mnkey, and just when I thought I had gotten it right, I was wrong...and it was someone else. I do love to be fooled.

Entertaining, a twist with every turn, great characters and development..all in all very satisfying.

Highly recommended.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Atagirl
  • 2017-07-04

Guessing 'till the end.

Good mystery. Was sometimes hard to follow with all the characters but mostly because I was distracted. Highly recommend if you like murder mystery with a story behind the story. Surprises right up to the end. Love that!

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • j phillips
  • 2019-04-01

3.91 stars

This disturbing mystery starts off a bit slow, but it picks up some steam as it goes. The story does have some twists and turns, some you may see coming and some you may not. The 2 audio narrators are a talented pair. It’s a pretty good audiobook that sets up book # 2 in this series. I'm in no rush to get to book # 2, but I'll probably listen to it one day.

Overall rating: 3.91 stars.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • 2017-12-13

Clever Plotting

Here's a high-craft-writer at work. Employing a clever device, J.D. Barker allows the plot to move as easily through time as an elevator in a high-rise. And it simultaneously provides an inner voice to a character who may be dead, or not.

This heavy lifting would strain a lot of authors but not here. Instead, with editing that'd make a filmography proud, Barker creates both tension and pace and kept me anxious to return to the story as soon as I could find an "Audible" moment. Nice work, well presented by Ballerini and Winton.

34 of 40 people found this review helpful