The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth Monkey

By:  J. D. Barker

The first in the 4MK Thriller series comes a dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffrey Deaver called "a talented writer with a delightfully delicious mind."

Two days to save her . . .

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.

One day . . .

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows that 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 as the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780544969940

  • ISBN-10: 0544969944

  • Pages: 416

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 06/27/2017

  • Carton Quantity: 1

J. D. Barker

J. D. Barker

J.D. BARKER is the internationally best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, and winner of the New Apple Medalist Award. His work has been compared to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris. His 4MK Thrillers, The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth to Die, were released in June 2017 and June 2018 respectively. He has been asked by the Stoker family to coauthor the forthcoming prequel to Dracula due out in fall 2018. His novels have been translated into numerous languages and optioned for both film and television. Barker currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dayna, and their two dogs, both of whom sit outside his office door daily, eagerly awaiting his next novel.
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  • reviews

    The Fourth Monkey has one of the most ingenious openings that I’ve read in years. This thriller never disappoints.”—James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author 


    “A first-rate, devilish thriller.”—Eric Rickstad, New York Times bestselling author of The Names of Dead Girls and The Silent Girls 


    “Superbly constructed and immaculately paced, this is one of the few serial killer thrillers that bears comparison with Thomas Harris’s 1981 masterpiece Red Dragon.”—Daily Mail 


    "This book lives up to the paced, complex and filled with twists and turns, once I picked up this novel, it was incredibly hard to put down....At this point, this novel has me feeling a serious “book hangover”. And, with that ending, I am really hoping this will not be the last that I will read about these characters. 5/5 stars. A must read." — Clues and Reviews 


    "Bram Stoker Award finalist Barker ingeniously blends horrific images into a bizarre plotline to create this devilishly dark thriller."— Library Journal 


    “…Nice twists on classic thriller tropes.” —Publisher’s Weekly 


    “Superbly constructed and immaculately paced, this is one of the few serial killer thrillers that bears comparison with Thomas Harris’s 1981 masterpiece Red Dragon.”—Daily Mail 


    “J.D. Barker’s second novel is a terrifying romp.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 


    “Not since Hannibal Lecter had a friend for dinner has a serial killer been so skillfully rendered on the page.” —Taylor Elmore, Writer/Producer of Justified and Limitless

    “Creepy, scary . . . and impossible to put down! The Fourth Monkey is everything a thriller should be—a must read!” —Heather Graham, NY Times Bestselling Author

    “In the tradition of SE7EN and THE USUAL SUSPECTS, THE FOURTH MONKEY combines breakneck speed with a baffling puzzle. It has pace to die for.” —David Morrell, New York Times Bestselling Author of Murder As a Fine Art and First Blood

    “A chillingly delicious page-turner.” —Kelley Armstrong, NY Times Bestselling Author 

    “Gritty, masterful suspense…Lee Child, you’ve met your match.” —Tosca Lee, NY Times Bestselling Author 

    “Brilliant. Complicated. Psychopath. This character is truly riveting.” —Marc Webb, Director of The Amazing Spiderman, Gifted, & (500) Days of Summer

    “A state of the art thriller, a current nightmare, a panic wrapped up in a box.” —Josh Malerman, Award Winning Author of Bird Box 

    “Serial killers in fiction are a dime a dozen these days, and it takes a powerful lot of thought and crafty planning to come up with one who’s unique. In THE FOURTH MONKEY Barker does just that — and gives us more than one. And he bounces his bad guys off a colorful cast of believable characters. For you puzzle fans, there’s a story within the story as strange and twisty as the tale itself. But make no mistake, this is a suspense novel through and through, and it’s in no way shy about it.” —Jack Ketchum, Award Winning Author of Off Season and The Girl Next Door 

    “This book is seriously brilliant: the best serial killer thriller I’ve ever read.” —Lisa Milton, Executive Editor HarperCollins HQ

    “Absolutely freaking brilliant! I didn’t want this book to end but what a fantastic finish! This is going to be THE crime thriller of 2017.” —Maxine Groves, Top Amazon and GoodReads Reviewer

    “Gripping, addictive, and devilishly clever. From its opening salvo The Fourth Monkey grabs you and never lets go. J. D. Barker is a stunning new talent.” —Barry Lancet, award-winning author of Tokyo Kill and Pacific Burn

    “Fascinating, fast-paced thriller. J.D. Barker keeps you on the edge of your seat right up until the final twist. A gripping read!” R.G. Belsky, author of the Gil Malloy thrillers

    “In THE FOURTH MONKEY, J.D. Barker interweaves multiple mysteries into an exhilarating thriller with a compelling new villain. The complexity of the puzzles and the lighting pace funnels the reader through a Rube Goldberg contraption of twists and turns. Buckl...

  • excerpts


    Day 1  6:14 a.m.


    There it was again, that incessant ping. 


    I turned the ringer off. Why am I hearing text notifications? Why am I hearing anything? 


    Apple’s gone to shit without Steve Jobs. 


    Sam Porter rolled to his right, his hand blindly groping for the phone on the nightstand. 


    His alarm clock crashed to the floor with a thunk unique to cheap electronics from China. 


    “Fuck me.” 


    When his fingers found the phone, he wrestled the device from the charging cable and brought it to his face, squinting at the small, bright screen. 


    CALL ME ?— ?911. 


    A text from Nash. 


    Porter looked over at his wife’s side of the bed, empty except for a note ?— 

    Went to get milk, be back soon. 




    He grunted and again glanced at his phone. 


    6:15 a.m. 


    So much for a quiet morning. 


    Porter sat up and dialed his partner. He answered on the second ring. 




    “Hey, Nash.” 


    The other man fell silent for a moment. “I’m sorry, Porter. I debated whether or not to contact you. Must have dialed your number a dozen times and couldn’t bring myself to actually place the call. I finally decided it would be best just to text you. Give you a chance to ignore me, you know?” 


    “It’s fine, Nash. What have you got?” 


    Another pause. “You’ll want to see for yourself.” 


    “See what?” 


    “There’s been an accident.” 


    Porter rubbed his temple. “An accident? We’re Homicide. Why would we respond to an accident?” 


    “You’ve gotta trust me on this. You’ll want to see it,” Nash told him again. There was an edge to his voice. 


    Porter sighed. “Where?” 


    “Near Hyde Park, off Fifty-Fifth. I just texted you the address.” 


    His phone pinged loudly in his ear, and he jerked it away from his head. 


    Fucking iPhone. 


    He looked down at the screen, noted the address, and went back to the call. 


    “I can be there in about thirty minutes. Will that work?” 


    “Yeah,” Nash replied. “We’re not going anywhere soon.” 


    Porter disconnected the call and eased his legs off the side of the bed, listening to the various pops and creaks his tired fifty-two-year-old body made in protest. 


    The sun had begun its ascent, and light peeked in from between the closed blinds of the bedroom window. Funny how quiet and gloomy the apartment felt without Heather around. 


    Went to get milk. 

    From the hardwood floor his alarm clock blinked up at him with a cracked face displaying characters no longer resembling numbers. 


    Today was going to be one of those days. 


    There had been a lot of those days lately. 


    Porter emerged from the apartment ten minutes later dressed in his Sunday best ?— ?a rumpled navy suit he’d bought off the rack at Men’s Wearhouse nearly a decade earlier ?— ?and made his way down the four flights of stairs to the cramped lobby of his building. He stopped at the mailboxes, pulled out his cell phone, and punched in his wife’s phone number. 


    “You’ve reached the phone of Heather Porter. Since this is voice mail, I most likely saw your name on caller ID and decided I did not wish to speak to you. If you’re willing to pay tribute in the form of chocolate cake or other assorted offerings of dietary delight, text me the details and I’ll reconsider your position in my social roster and possibly get back to you later. If you’re a salesperson trying to get me to switch carriers, you might as well hang up now. AT&T owns me for at least another year. All others, please leave a message. Keep in mind my loving husband is a cop with anger issues, and he carries a large gun.” 


    Porter smiled. Her voice always made him smile. “Hey, Button. It’s just me. Nash called. There’s something going on near Hyde Park; I’m meeting him down there. I’ll give you a call later when I know what time I’ll be home.” He added, “Oh, and I think there’s something wrong with our alarm clock.” 


    He dropped the phone into his pocket and pushed through the door, the brisk Chicago air reminding him that fall was preparing to step aside for winter. 





    Day 1  6:45 a.m.


    Porter took Lake Park Avenue and made good time, arriving at about a quarter to seven. Chicago Metro had Woodlawn at Fifty-Fifth completely barricaded. He could make out the lights from blocks away ?— ?at least a dozen units, an ambulance, two fire trucks. Twenty officers, possibly more. Press too. 


    He slowed his late-model Dodge Charger as he approached the chaos, and held his badge out the window. A young officer, no more than a kid, ducked under the yellow crime-scene tape and ran over. “Detective Porter? Nash told me to wait for you. Park anywhere ?— ?we’ve cordoned off the entire block.” 


    Porter nodded, then pulled up beside one of the fire trucks and climbed out. “Where’s Nash?” 


    The kid handed him a cup of coffee. “Over there, near the ambulance.” 


    He spotted Nash’s large frame speaking to Tom Eisley from the medical examiner’s office. At nearly six foot three, he towered over the much smaller man. He looked like he’d put on a few pounds in the weeks since Porter had seen him, the telltale cop’s belly hanging prominently over his belt. 


    Nash waved him over. 


    Eisley greeted Porter with a slight nod and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “How are you holding up, Sam?” He held a clipboard loaded with at least a ream of paper. In today’s world of tablets and smartphones, the man always seemed to have a clipboard on hand; his fingers flipped nervously through the pages. 


    “I imagine he’s getting tired of people asking him how he’s holding up, how he’s doing, how he’s hanging, or any other variation of well-being assertion,” Nash grumbled. 


    “It’s fine. I’m fine.” He forced a smile. “Thank you for asking, Tom.” 


    “Anything you need, just ask.” Eisley shot Nash a glance. 


    “I appreciate that.” Porter turned back to Nash. “So, an accident?” 


    Nash nodded at a city bus parked near the curb about fifty feet away. “Man versus machine. Come on.” 


    Porter followed him, with Eisley a few paces behind, clipboard in tow. 


    A CSI tech photographed the front of the bus. Dented grill. Cracked paint an inch above the right headlight. Another investigator picked at something buried in t...

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780544969940

  • ISBN-10: 0544969944

  • Pages: 416

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 06/27/2017

  • Carton Quantity: 1