Tuesday 27 June 2017

The Fourth Monkey by J D Barker

Most people, I guess, know of The Three Monkeys (sometimes The Three Wise Monkeys) - See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. This serial killer novel introduces us to the concept of The Fourth Monkey - Do No Evil.

For a while now the murderer known as The Fourth Monkey Killer (4MK) has been punishing various people in Chicago for perceived 'evil-doing' by kidnapping their daughters and sending the 'accused' bits of them back in a small white box. First they receive an ear (Hear No Evil), then eyes (See No Evil) and finally the tongue (Speak). The next day the body of the kidnapped and now mutilated daughter is found in the city.

Where this novel differs from your usual serial killer tale is that as the story opens our murderer has just stepped in front of a bus on his way to post his latest little white box. All else he has on him is a few cents, a laundry ticket and a diary.

From the off the race is on to find and rescue the latest victim who is already minus an ear. Inserted into the story though is the diary which tells of 4MK as a child and gives clues to how he got to where he is. And to be fair it's no surprise he ended up a psychopathic murderer when you look at his family.

Leading the search for the victim (and also studying the diary) is Detective Sam Porter who has been on the 4MK case from day 1. Sam is an interesting character and the realisation bombshell that dropped on me halfway through the book is why I am not discussing him more here (Spoilers!)

All in all, this was an enjoyable read with plenty of twists, turns and WTF moments that had me guessing for a lot of the book and a reveal I never saw coming.

Highly recommended - 4.5/5*