• The Fifth to Die

  • A Detective Porter Novel
  • By: J. D. Barker
  • Narrated by: James Alexander
  • Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Murder. It’s a family affair.  

In the midst of one of the worst winters Chicago has seen in years, the body of missing teenager Ella Reynolds is discovered under the surface of a frozen lake.

She’s been missing for three weeks...the lake froze over three months ago.

Detective Sam Porter and his team are brought in to investigate, but it’s not long before another girl goes missing. The press believes the serial killer Anson Bishop has struck again, but Porter knows differently. The deaths are too different. There’s a new killer on the loose.

Porter, however, is distracted. He’s still haunted by Bishop and his victims, even after the FBI have removed him from the case. His only leads: a picture of a female prisoner and a note from Bishop: ‘Help me find my mother. I think it’s time she and I talked.’

As more girls go missing and Porter’s team race to stop the body count rising, Porter disappears to track down Bishop’s mother and discover that the only place scarier than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

Perfect for fans of Helen Fields, Val McDermid and Jo Nesbo, this gripping and twisted thriller will have you wondering, how do you stop a killer when he’s been trained from birth?

©2018 J. D. Barker (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"J.D. Barker is a one-of-a-kind writer and that’s a rare and special thing. Stephen King comes to mind and Lee Child, John Sanford. All one-of-a-kinds. Don’t miss anything J.D. writes." (James Patterson)

"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

"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 best-selling author) 

What listeners say about The Fifth to Die

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    5 out of 5 stars

Solid storyline sabotaged by narration

What should've been a riveting listen, turned into an experience similar to walking barefoot on Lego, due to the narrator's unusual inflection. Every.single.word. is narrated as if it is a 10 second promo for a thriller. While this style works for 10 second promos, it definitely does not for a 17hr + audio book. The narrator delivers dialogue perfectly, though, so I blame the director for a severe lapse in judgement. Increasing the speed to 1.25 helped slightly to ease the listening pain. Had I not already invested time and energy into the first book of the series, I would've abandoned the audio within the first chapter. I am deeply disappointed that Audible continues to sell this narration despite all the many many complaints about it. This is not up to standard and Audible should be ashamed for continuing to charge for sub-standard work.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping story, very easy to listen

Gripping storyline; can’t wait to start on book #3. The book is an easy read and even more easy to listen too, I tend to switch between actual reading and audio book because the story was so captivating and I didn’t want to stop even when driving.
The audiobook was a little slower than actually reading by myself but the speed adjusting options at audible came in handy to solve this; overall great story and performance.

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  • Gayle
  • 08-17-18

Good story but awful narration

Having loved the first book (The Fourth Monkey) and its narrators, I pre-ordered The Fifth To Die and eagerly counted down the days until it became available. Usually I devour audible books but this has taken me nearly a month to finish. Please don't get me wrong - the story is good. Unfortunately, however, I really didn't like the narrator and found him to be painfully slow (even when reading out chapter numbers!). It has been a real struggle for me to finish this audible book and I sincerely hope that any future books in the series have a better narrator (sadly, I won't be listening if Mr Alexander narrates them). On a more positive note, I enjoyed the story. Some parts stretched credibility but I can live with that and I look forward to (reading) the next book in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ruggertiff
  • 11-15-18

Great story, shame about ....

Loved the story, narrator drove me nuts. The odd mispronounced word I understand and have no problem with, but this was a step too far. The timing was way off and the pauses for emphasis were all over the place. This strange pattern made it difficult to listen to. I hung in there because I wanted to know what happened but i may just read the next one if the same narrator is used. Good luck

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lesleyv
  • 11-09-18

Excellent follow up , almost ruined by narration

Ok firstly I just wanted to say that this is an excellent story that I really enjoyed. If you liked 'The Fourth Monkey' then this is required reading. However, I have to say that the narration is pretty awful and gets worse as it goes along. The guy actually says 'anythink' instead of anything which is pretty atrocious, he also seems to think that if .he.pauses.between. each. word. it adds dramatic effect. IT DOESN'T. I'm not entirely sure that I've ever found the narration so annoying, it's only because of the quality of the story that I stuck with it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mick79
  • 10-10-18

Almost unbearable....and not in a good way

Overall I enjoyed the story but the guy reading it has the strangest speech pattern, leaving huge gaps at unnecessary points, even when reading out chapter numbers! It sounds like an audition for the voice over job on movie trailers, I can't tell you how bad it is.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs Maureen Cate
  • 09-16-18

Excellent story, horrendous narration...

I greatly enjoyed the first Detective Porter Audible rendition and was looking forward to the second. I am still battling my way through it. The story is intricate, intriguing and a worthy follow on from the earlier book. However, the narration is appalling. Who thought it would be a good idea for the ghastly 'Voice of Doom' to be used throughout - regardless of character or narrative? Add to that the not infrequent mispronunciations and the endless use of somethinK, nothinK, anythinK and it's a wonder I'm trying to keep going to the end of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anne-Marie
  • 08-30-18

Wish I had read it instead

Riveting story but the narrator was very hard to listen to that it took away from the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • T
  • 08-28-18

Very Disappointing

I really enjoyed the first book but this one was just so slow and really I have got to an hour off and I cannot waste anymore time. Shame! Maybe authors need to take time out and stop churning books out for the sake of it. Great first book, awful second book so now I will not revisit this author. Take note - stop churning out books with no reason - and money isn't a reason - you lose custom with a bad follow up book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-21-18

A dreadful narrative!

Most of the narrative is packed with as many portentous pauses as words. It seemed to get worse as the book went on, the reader seemingly unable to speak two words in succession. Wrecked my enjoyment of the book. And added a possible hour to the listening. Strangely, as the reader spoke as some characters this didn't happen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laney
  • 07-23-18

Bleak thriller but even bleaker narration

This is a particularly bleak serial killer story...perhaps a little too closely linked to the first book in the series...but it is completely ruined by the narration. James Alexander could even make Happy Birthday sound like a death sentence. There's plenty of light and shade in the writing and absolutely none in the narration. Alexander even makes the chapter numbers turgid. What a shame. What a disappointment.
The more I listen, the more the narrator gets on my nerves. His speech...is...slow - the book would probably be nearer 12 hours with a decent narrator. He also emphasises THE wrong word - like a morbid Chandler Bing. I never want another...book...READ by this man.
Okay: spoiler alert
This isn't a stand-alone story. As well as having to catch up on the first book, it's also unresolved at the end. Fortunately, I don't care enough to buy the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lee
  • 03-29-22

Narrator destroys this story

As has been said by many, a gripping story has been completely ruined by an absolutely appalling narrator. His speed, cadence, tone, and emphasis are all wrong. It genuinely makes the book hard to listen to. Even more bizarrely, the first and third books in the trilogy are narrated by the same two people, and for some reason, the second is narrated by someone else. Why!? To have the same character being spoken in totally different voices would be annoying anyway, but especially so where that third voice is barely tolerable.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-18

Disappointing

I absolutely HATED the narration of this book. James Alexander ruined it completely for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-21

terrible narration

old mate doesn't understand full stops. Either that or he made up his own.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-18

Pregnant pauses in every word dragged this book under

The chronic overuse of pregnant pauses was very annoying and lost all impact. It’s only effective when used sparingly to add emphasis and drama. Also, can someone please enlighten James - there’s no ‘k’ on the end of every word ending in ‘...ing‘. In future, I will avoid any book by this reader.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-21-22

Narrater change

Good continuation from book 1, however struggled alot with the different narrater.
especially with lead

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kylie
  • 11-10-21

Terrible narrator buy the book instead

I have so many question and they are all about this Narrator!

Does he talk like this in real life?
Who the hell listened to a sample of this dude and said "yes! This is the robotic voice we need!"
And why the hell did they not get the AMAZING narrator from the first book!
I can not articulate enough how much this dude destroyed J. D Barkers amazing book.
Wish I read this instead.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-21

Good book. SHOCKING narrator

Could not stand his voice. So overdone. First book was a better choice. Horrible to listen too.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mandy Wells
  • 02-28-20

Awful narration!!!

I really enjoyed the first Sam Porter story, so was keen to listen to the next one. It started off okay, but then suddenly the narrator started sounding like a robot that didn't know how to phrase a sentence. Extremely annoying as I was well into the story by then. The story is great, but if it's the same narrator on the third book, I'll be reading instead of listening.

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  • Carol
  • 08-24-18

Follow Anson Bishop and his crimes

Another cracking story by a great author JD Barker. I found the narrator very intrusive in the story- inflections on multiple words in a sentence and after being spoilt by the narration of The Fourth Monkey I found myself repeatedly yearning for the previous narrator.

A continuation of a great story - I found myself hating Detective Porter and wishing he would just grow a pair and stop having one long pity party.

Again, the editing was superb and you could be excused for thinking 133 chapters is a little too much, but you’d be wrong. I did feel on this one the ending was a little jumbled. I would have preferred the author to deal with one ending at a time instead of weaving them altogether- for me, this made the connections a little difficult to manage.

I cannot wait to read more titles from JD Barker as they become available and can only see him becoming a highly popular author.

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  • kathryn
  • 07-27-18

yes please

loved it cant wait for the next installment .
great characters great twists and gruesome details

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Janet
  • 07-26-18

17 hours I will never get back!

Gratuitous violence. Narrator kept mispronouncing basic words. Story seriously disjointed. Won't get next in series!