Today’s review of The Fourth Victim makes my second review post of the week! I have set aside my usual fortnightly Friday posts to take part in the birthday blitz tour. Before I begin in earnest, I’d like to say a massive thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour!
The Fourth Victim
Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder…
Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with fatal head injuries, down to a mugging gone wrong. The victim deserves more. However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.
The Fourth Victim is a compelling crime thriller set in Whitechapel, London. A murder occurs in broad daylight and as the body count rises, the media coins the unidentified murderer as the Ripper come again. Matthew Merry is tasked with apprehending the killer and preventing another death. Under pressure from increasing police cuts, it’s a race against time before they strike again.
For me, the most interesting character of the book has to be Jenny. A traumatic childhood is attributed to her development of a mental illness called Dissociative Identity Disorder ‘DID’. Her experiences often influence which of her volatile personalities comes to the fore. Her unpredictable nature and her affiliation to the victims make her the lead suspect. As a former psychology student, I really enjoyed the depth of detail about the disorder and the dynamic of the narrative influenced by it.
Jenny is not the only flawed character in the book – even police are not immune to poor judgment. Their imperfections remind you that they are people too; instead of purely fulfilling the role of crime-solvers, their mistakes are a stark reminder that they are people too. They are integral to the story and their respective character arcs give them a real depth of character.
The Fourth Victim is well-paced without compromising on descriptive detail and character development. The number of leads for investigation drives the plot forwards and encourages you to draw your own conclusions – right or wrong. Discovering whether you get it right is all part of the enjoyment!
John was born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.
He has travelled extensively, from America to Tibet, and he enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that he is an avid ‘people watcher’ and loves to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub; he writes.
Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in his novels are based on real incidents and people he has come across. Although he has allowed himself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.
John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.
Social Media Links –
Amazon author profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH
Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead