And it’s that time of the month again! Today I want to talk to you about two of my most recent reads: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck & The Fourth Monkey by JD Barker. Both thrillers, one action, the other a serial-killer mystery.
Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities… It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them… Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return
Here and Gone is a thrilling and nail-biting book that depicts a situation that felt realistic and scary at the same time. I think the beginning was my favorite part, as I got super nervous while reading Audra’s encounter with the sheriff. You could feel the heat, the silent violence, the threats, the tension. I could picture it all in my head.
The whole book is a big “gaslighting” episode and it makes you feel so powerless that you wish you were there helping the main character get her kids back. It reminded me of Little Deaths by Emma Flint, although that one had a mystery component, whereas this one was more of a straight-forward thriller. Perhaps, the fact that there were no surprises is what prevents me from “loving” this book a bit more. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I admired Audra and Danny’s determination, but I thought the forum messages meant that there was someone else involved, and instead, I found the “chase” a bit predictable overall.
Netgalley, Harvill Secker, 2017
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. 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.
This was a lovely buddy read with Zuky @Bookbum. Sometimes, I’m in the minority and I’m afraid this is one of the cases. I believe The Fourth Monkey was a fun and entertaining thriller, but unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations. I enjoyed it for the most part (especially the first half), but the whole third act felt too predictable and it didn’t impress me.
I’m a big fan of serial killer books and the comparisons to Se7en and The Silence of the Lambs made me incredibly excited to read this one. At first, I was sure it was going to be one of my faves, just like Ragdoll & Kill The Father, but once my initial suspicion turned out to be true, I was quite disappointed. I couldn’t believe Zuky and I had guessed something so important within the first pages. However, I did love the last scene and the fact that the main character wasn’t young, but I didn’t connect with the police team dynamics and I was expecting a more explosive and shocking ending, I guess.
ARC, HQ, 2017