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J. D. Barker

Author of Dracul

18+ Works 2,917 Members 159 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: J.D.Barker


Works by J. D. Barker

Dracul (2018) — Author — 764 copies, 35 reviews
The Fourth Monkey (2017) 605 copies, 52 reviews
The Coast-to-Coast Murders (2020) 491 copies, 13 reviews
The Noise: A Thriller (2021) 364 copies, 4 reviews
The Fifth to Die (2018) 225 copies, 18 reviews
Forsaken: Book One of the Shadow Cove Saga (2014) 164 copies, 14 reviews
The Sixth Wicked Child (2019) 115 copies, 7 reviews
A Caller's Game (2021) 81 copies, 8 reviews
Behind A Closed Door (2023) 21 copies, 4 reviews
Of the Lake 2 copies
El Cuarto Mono (2020) 2 copies
Jeugdzonde 1 copy

Associated Works

Best of Thrillers (2022) 1 copy


$10.00 (7) /Illinois (6) 2018 (13) 2019 (7) 2020 (12) 2021 (10) American literature (7) ARC (7) audible (15) audiobook (17) Bram Stoker (7) crime (13) currently-reading (11) detective (9) Dracula (19) ebook (31) fantasy (15) fiction (92) goodreads (8) gothic (10) hardcover (7) historical fiction (18) horror (87) Kindle (24) murder (8) mystery (54) netgalley (10) noir (7) Novela (6) own (10) read (19) science fiction (11) serial killer (9) standalone (7) suspense (29) thriller (96) to-read (523) unread (8) vampire (7) vampires (33)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Barker, Jonathan Dylan
Other names
Barker, JD
Shadow Cove, Massachusetts, USA



This suspense thriller serves as a cautionary tale. Be careful...

If ever there was a book that would make me think long and hard about all my connected electronics, this was it. Our smart homes, smart phones, and all of the social media combined with the extensive list of apps should give us pause. What do we really know about what all of that is tracking in our lives.

Abby and Brendan Hollander are going through a bit of a rough patch in their marriage. A therapist suggests they download the new popular app, Sugar & Spice, to bring some excitement and intimacy into their relationship. What could go wrong -- it's just an app. A little bit of fun, right? After all, no one can MAKE you do anything you don't want to do, correct? Little do they know...

No spoilers here but I almost DNF because of all the violence and graphic sex details. I didn't really like any of the characters who just made one bad decision after another. The premise and concept were unique, and I wanted to see how it played out, so I did finish. I tried listening to the audiobook while following along with the e-book ARC (provided by the publisher), but the narrator was so bad at doing women's voices that I had to stop. I've found it's always a mistake to have only a single narrator for most books and it definitely negatively affects the quality of the production.

I've loved other books by this author, but this was a disappointment.
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CelticLibrarian | 3 other reviews | Jun 27, 2024 |
This is a new book from one of my favorite thriller authors. An innocent looking app in your phone to spice up your love life. For Abby and Brendan Hollander everything went really well in the beginning. Then they started receiveng tasks that made things menacing and complicated.

This book really opened my eyes to the dangers of social media and all the smart appliances you can link to your personal account. Your apps are watching and listening. I've witnessed it more than once, when after a coffee table conversation I start getting weirdly specific ads on my feed. No one reads all of the terms and conditions of apps and technology that they use.

This was a thrilling roller coaster ride with lots twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.

Thank you NetGalley and Hampton Creek Press for a copy of this book
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Helsky | 3 other reviews | May 12, 2024 |
The Fourth Monkey was one of my favorite reads of last year, so when I saw The Fifth to Die on NetGalley, I immediately requested it. Be warned, The Fifth to Die is a true continuation of its predecessor. If you haven’t read The Fourth Monkey, you would most likely be lost at least some of the time reading this one.

The Fifth to Die picks up with detective Porter, our former hero, lost in a dream sequence about 4MK. I loathe dream sequence beginnings, but I’m going to go easy on this one. Porter and Nash are on the trail of a murderer, riding in Nash’s beloved beater of a classic car, Connie, who becomes a character unto herself, referred to, often, by name. This car gets a fair amount of page time and I have to wonder if the author isn’t restoring some vehicle somewhere as a passion project, or if he wants to.

A girl has gone missing and another is dead, found beneath the ice, wearing the missing girl’s clothes and placed under the ice after the lake froze. Chilling stuff, literally! The scene is a departure from 4MKs MO, in which the eyes, ears, and tongue of his victims are mailed to a loved one before their bodies are discovered, but Porter’s got 4MK on the brain, and of course, the two are connected. Porter and Nash investigate the disappearance/murder with the help of Clair and a cast of supporting characters from Missing Children, the coroner’s office, and, eventually, the FBI.

The body count is high in this one, and these two girls kick off what turns out to be a series of murders involving a new killer (spoiler alert: not really 4MK). Anson Bishop isn’t entirely out of the equation, but the man in the black hat takes center stage as, one-by-one, young women disappear only to reappear dead. What he’s doing to them is straight out of a torture film, and one has to assume that this man does what he does because he is on his last leg and wants to know what’s beyond death, which he might soon be experiencing firsthand. What’s his tie to 4MK? You’re going to have to do a whole lot of reading to figure that out. About 132 chapter’s worth! Yes, I said 132 chapters!

I applauded The Fourth Monkey for the author’s deft handling of a large cast, for his ability to bring together a huge story from multiple viewpoints, but that didn’t happen this time. The writing is brilliant, don’t get me wrong. Snappy dialogue and well-executed setting. Original, page-turning plot, and the procedural angle is, again, done expertly, but with multiple murders and multiple killers, victim’s viewpoints, Porter’s being excused from the case and going rogue, the Libby sub-plot, which comes sort of late, and the hunt for 4MKs mother… it’s too much for one book, and too much of it is unresolved by the end. I feel this is a plotting fail, that the author could have focused on the man in the in the black hat and his connection with 4MK and left the rest for the next installment, and the one after that, and the one after that… This could easily have been two or three books, and I feel the series could go on indefinitely.

Where The Fourth Monkey stands nicely alone, The Fifth to Die ends, literally, with “to be continued.” I do not like this, not after 132 chapters of reading. The next installment is set up without concluding what went on in this one. I have to hope this all plays out in the third book. That we’re not mired in the foster care trope that is the single most unoriginal point of this story, because even if I feel a bit cheated, I did enjoy The Fifth to Die. I will definitely read the next one, but I had high expectations of this author after the first in this series. I’m giving this book a solid 4-star rating, but man, I’m looking for redemption.

*Thank you to the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for an ARC of The Fifth to Die.

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bfrisch | 17 other reviews | Mar 3, 2024 |
Abby and Brendan have been married a long time and are stuck in a rut. Determined to save their marriage, they agree to see a counselor who asks them about their sex life. Admittedly, things have gone a bit stale in that department, so she recommends the hottest new app: Sugar and Spice. It’s a sort of truth or dare for adults with a points system that first puts Abby and Brendan playfully at odds. They’re competitive by nature and each wants to hold the high score. Many sugars and some hot, hot spices later, their marriage might not be fixed but their sex life is turbo-charged.

Cut to the killers. It wouldn’t be a JD Barker novel without some twisted sadist, so what motivates Romeo and Juliet to check off names on a hit list gleefully? And what does it have to do with Abby and Brendan?

When the Sugars and Spices take a nasty twist, Abby and Brendan want out, but it’s too late. Sugar and Spice isn’t for quitters.

JD Barker has written a steamy and terrifying novel about couples, the bonds forged from adversity, the dangers of technology, and the power of greed. I couldn’t put it down! What starts as an R-rated story about a couple ended up being a fast-paced thriller with a tech twist. If I wanted to turn in my virtual assistant devices before Behind a Closed Door, I’d gladly donate them all now. Highly recommended for readers who don’t mind their thrillers extra spicy. I especially loved the Author’s Note at the end. JD “made the words” and I’m so glad he did.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and JD Barker for the ARC of Behind a Closed Door.
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bfrisch | 3 other reviews | Mar 3, 2024 |



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