The Fourth Monkey (A Detective Porter novel) ハードカバー – 2017/6/27
`The Fourth Monkey has one of the most ingenious openings that I’ve read in years. This thriller never disappoints.’
`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.’
The Daily Mail
`A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.’
`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
`A labyrinth of madness and a macabre charnel house of mirrors, The Fourth Monkey is a 1st-rate, devilish thriller.’
Eric Rickstad, New York Times bestselling author of The Names Of Dead Girls
`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
`A chillingly delicious page-turner.’
New York Times Bestselling Author, Kelley Armstrong
`Creepy, scary… and impossible to put down! The Fourth Monkey is everything a thriller should be―a must read!’
Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author
`Gritty, masterful suspense. A dark ride into the mind of a genius killer, and those tasked with stopping him for good. Impeccably written with Barker’s trademark wit and penchant for killer detail. Lee Child, you've met your match.’
Tosca Lee, New York Times Bestselling Author
J. D. BARKER is the international best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Debut Novel. In addition, he has been asked to coauthor a prequel to Dracula by the Stoker family. Barker splits his time between Englewood, Florida, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- 出版社 : HQ (2017/6/27)
- 発売日 : 2017/6/27
- 言語 : 英語
- ハードカバー : 480ページ
- ISBN-10 : 0008216991
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008216993
- 寸法 : 15.9 x 3.6 x 24 cm
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 1,720,953位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
Porter and his colleagues work around the clock in a desperate bid to find the victim while she is still alive, with little to go on in their search. While all this goes on, Porter keeps dipping into the 4MK's diary and a parallel story emerges of the killer's childhood. Both plot threads are equally fascinating, and this wasn't one of those books where one got in the way of the other. The concept is sick but brilliant and the main characters bring their A-game to the party.
However, and it's a big however, for some reason the chapters featuring the diary are in tiny italics so that I had to open the menu of my Kindle and up the font size to make them readable. Then when the chapter finished and reverted to the investigation the font size was of course way too big so I had to open the menu and reduce it again. As the chapters are relatively short, this soon became tiresome. As the story progressed towards its climax, having to change the font size repeatedly interrupted the flow and destroyed the build up of tension.
I don't know whether it was Barker, his publisher, or someone else who wanted to present the diary in this way. Italics are bad enough, but I can (sort of) understand why they are used to aid readers who can't work out that the narrative has changed, but to reduce the font size to make it unreadable is ridiculous. I get that the 4MK had tiny handwriting but I need the readable version.
Judging by the ratings reviewers have given The Fourth Monkey, most people don't have such an issue with the tiny italics. I did carefully consider whether to reduce my rating so much, but I really hate it when authors use gimmicks that get in the way of the story as was the case here. A solid 5 star story, dragged down by a unfathomable and totally unnecessary presentation decision
It starts with a death, due to a road traffic accident between a bus and a pedestrian. The victim having no identification on him except carrying a package containing a human ear (which he was obviously going to post and is extremely significant in the Police investigations into recent murders by the Fourth Monkey Killer, aka 4MK). In his pockets there is a dry cleaner's receipt, pocket watch (which had stopped at 3:14 and was not the time of the accident) and 75 cents in assorted change. He was also wearing, quite strangely, a fedora, very expensive John Lobb shoes, but a cheap suit. In his pockets is some kind of diary which begins with the words "Hello, my friend. I am a thief, a murderer, a kidnapper" and so it begins.....
Due to the contents of the package, they realise the killer has snatched another victim (Emory) and it becomes a race against time to find her, knowing that the killer is laid on the Morgue table so they don't have any answers to their questions.
Sam Porter is, quite simply, a brilliant detective. His team consists of Nash, Clair, and Watson and they are very loyal to Sam.
Sam starts to read the diary and at first thinks it's just the ramblings of a really mixed up child as it's all about his childhood and his parents. However, things aren't what they seem with it and 4MK has anticipated Sam skipping to the last page for answers, so he has to read every page.
I loved how the story was told from the perspective of Sam, Clair and Emory and, basically, our deranged killer (via his diary) who is very, very clever and is always one step ahead of the team, anticipating their next step.
I won't cover any more of the story for fear of spoiling it. I would, however, urge anyone who loves well written, fast paced thrillers, that if you are going to read one book this year, make it this; you won't regret it. However, one word of caution, don't do what I did and read this, in parts, whilst eating. Not a good idea at all. Also be prepared to not be able to put it down, especially to sleep.
Massively recommended and cannot wait for the next book by this brilliant author.
However, I did finish it, and I know exactly how I feel! The Fourth Monkey is gripping, thrilling, greatly disturbing, and at some points, made me want to throw up. And, I loved every single page of it!
The Fourth Monkey is very well written, and it’s in short chapters, which I love. However, it is written in such a way that each chapter is read from the viewpoint of a different character in the book. Most of the chapters switch between Detective Sam Porter and the diary of our serial killer/assumed homicide victim – the Four Monkey Killer (4MK) – from when he was a child. We also read from the viewpoints of 4MK’s latest victim – Emory – and one of the other detectives working with Sam (Clair). I think that this is a clever way of writing a story like this; it definitely adds another dimension. The twists and turns in this book will leave you shocked, gobsmacked, occasionally disgusted, and often wondering how you hadn’t seen them coming.
I loved this book, and for that reason, I’m so excited to pick up the second book in the series, and continue to follow Detective Sam Porter’s story.
I’d highly recommend this book. I give it 5/5 stars
There is a particular plot twist that I can't reveal without a spoiler but, suffice to say, it's exactly the same scenario as in one of the Lincoln Rhyme plots, authored by Jeffery Deaver. Other elements of style can be mentioned without spoiling the plot. The style of alternating chapters with third person coverage of the detective and then first person narrative from the apparent villain is classic Deaver. So is the style of building up an 'evidence board' that is printed out at the beginning of a chapter on a regular basis. And, of course, the plot itself, as the villain leaves a string of clues to lead the hero to a climactic conclusion is a staple of many Deaver novels. Even the ending is so similar to the Deaver style (and content) as to feel a bit like de-ja-vu.
Mr Barker has learned well from his more famous contemporary but he still can't quite match the smooth sophistication of some of the Deaver plots. He does, however, come close enough to make this a great read. Some of the plot elements that were intended to be shocking surprises were pretty obvious much earlier in the book but there were still a couple that I did't see coming.
If this is a 'recipe' book, made up of a mixture of sadism, gory detail of torture, slightly kinky sex with a hint of Oedipus complex, then shaken together with a puzzle requiring the reader to assemble the pieces, then it works well and the final dish is served and presented very professionally.
So, plagiarism aside (and forgiven), I really enjoyed this book.