So as you can see from the title, today I’m reviewing The Fourth Victim by John Mead, thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part on this tour..
Let’s jump right in…
Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of tranquillity 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. – Goodreads –
I have read quite a number of police procedurals so within the first 50 pages I thought that it was heading in the same direction that many others have taken, especially with the victims being young blonde women. However, that wasn’t the case at all, it took a completely different path.
I found our main characters DI Matthew Merry and DS Julie Lukula pretty unlikable to be honest. Merry is a terrible husband, towards the end of the book I wanted to glue his zipper shut! I’m not sure if it’s just me but I’ve noticed in crime thrillers and police procedurals that if there is LGBTQ+ rep then it is usually the female detectives/officers who are lesbians. Not necessarily a negative in terms of this book, just an observation that I wanted to mention.
I had one main issue with this book and that is the structure. I love multiple points of view, it gives you different vantage points of the story, however this usually happens with each new chapter. Here we had points of view changing every paragraph or two. This made it so difficult at first to actually feel connected with the book. I also had to keep referring back to earlier chapters to realise who the characters were.
I wish that I could go into full detail about this case but you know the drill, the less you know the more you will enjoy the book! I love the main focus of the investigation it really made you think how many killers do we have here? I’m no professional but I feel like it was done really well. I also really enjoyed the twists and turns that we were taken on with The Fourth Victim. This is one that I will definitely be recommending to those who enjoy this genre.
The Fourth Victim deserves 4 cups of coffee out of 5!
So who is John Mead?
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.
See you in the next one…