The Fourth Victim

(21 customer reviews)


  • Author Name: John Mead
  • Publication Date: 28/10/2018
  • Format: Paperback

In stock

ISBN: 9781912575367

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“The stillness of the supine figure drew Essey forward, dragging her trolley, off the path to look more closely. ‘Are you alright, dear?’ she began, but she could see something was wrong, the unblinking eyes told her so.”

Three parks, three deaths, four victims, two grieving families, one murder enquiry team and an unknown number of killers. Can an answer be found?

Whitechapel is being gentrified, the many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquillity and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder.

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looked as it the inspector was already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with her head bashed in, down to a mugging ‘gone wrong’. 

The victim deserved more. But the inspector isn’t ruling anyone out; the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer…

John Mead was born in Dagenham and now lives in Hornchurch, Essex. John has a BSc (Hons), MBA and a PGCE and worked in education for most of his life. He is now retired and focusses his time on writing. John’s first crime thriller, The Hanging Women (ISBN 9781912362059) was published in February 2018.

21 reviews for The Fourth Victim

  1. Donnas Book Blog

    I really enjoyed this story and it was definitely a book that made me think.

    It was well written and I really enjoyed reading about the different plotlines. It must have been interesting to have lived through the events mentioned in the book, I know a little about that time period but I loved how the author brought it to life. I enjoyed that whilst the characters for the main plots are all very different, you see the similarities from what they are going through in their own parts of the world.

    Although this is a work of fiction it did really make me wonder about the question the book poses – how much really has changed in the last 50 years? And for me from that, from what has changed has it really been for the better in all cases?

  2. Books and Emma

    This was a fantastic read! An absolutely brilliant police procedural.

    This story pulled me in and gripped me and my attention until the very last page. If you enjoy police procedurals or just reads where everything feels so very real, then this is the next book for you!

  3. On the Shelf Reviews

    The Fourth Victim is an intense police procedural with a great pace and plenty of intrigue.

  4. Just 4 My Books

    This is the first book I’ve read by John Mead, and highly original it is too.

    With your everyday whodunnit (or police procedural) as his core theme, he takes the reader right into the story. With the three killings early on, it’s up to the investigative team to find the killer – but, of course, it’s not going to be an open and shut case.

    If you enjoy a good whodunnit with an imaginative plot, then this is the book for you.

  5. Splashes into Books

    This is an action-packed crime investigation/murder mystery story where the characters are brought to life, warts and all. They are all an eclectic mix, with so many layers to investigate as you get to know them as the story develops. With potential romances, adultery, murder, mystery, suspense, and medical issues, this isn’t a straightforward story and definitely felt real, sharing the feelings of characters and their responses throughout the story. It is an intriguing, fast-paced page-turner that has plenty of surprises and shocking revelations as the investigations develop, keeping you guessing. I’m hoping it will be developed into a series and if it does I really hope to read any future books!

  6. Jera’s Jamboree

    The Fourth Victim is a gripping crime thriller using police procedural as the basis of its plot. I really enjoyed this book as I found the pace fast, and with interesting characters it kept the pages turning.

  7. Mai’s Musings

    I found that on the whole, it was an enjoyable read. It was well thought out, and including a character who suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder made for interesting reading.

    I enjoyed seeing the camaraderie develop in the police team, and I think that their relationships could form a strong basis for a series of books. I always enjoy a book that features a close unit of co-workers or friends, and The Fourth Victim certainly delivered on that front. I would be interested to see how these relationships build as the teamwork more cases together.

  8. Cheekypee Reads

    From the start, this story gripped me. DS Julie Lukula and Inspector Matthew Merry are under pressure to find the killer/killers. I’m not gonna say anything about the storyline for fear I’ll spill a spoiler so all I can say is read it.

    If you’re like me and you like a well-written police procedural read then I certainly recommend this one. I’ll certainly be reading more from this author starting with his previous book The Hanging Women.

  9. Babydolls & Razorblades

    What an absolutely gripping read. I couldn’t put it down so ended up reading it in one sitting (don’t think the rest of the family were too happy about that haha). As soon as you begin the writer draws you in with the murder of a young girl and from there on the story really builds at the right place, keeping your attention. The Fourth Victim is a well-written crime novel, even if it was a bit technical at times. I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more from John.

  10. Just Books Blog

    I found this police procedural crime thriller both captivating and thrilling. It kept me turning the pages to discover more clues and try to figure out who the killer was.

    The main characters, Inspector Matthew Merry and Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula were as different as chalk and cheese, but they worked well together to solve the case and catch the murderer.

    It was a well-paced exciting story with twists and turns aplenty.

  11. Feed the Crime

    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.

  12. Joyful Antidotes

    This is most likely a cliche thing to say but I love reading about serial killers. I find the psychology of it all fascinating. I presumed that The Fourth Victim would offer some of that. However, it focused more on police procedure than anything else, something I’ve learned can be equally as fascinating (hence my latest obsession with Mindhunter). Keep in mind that books on police procedures can go very wrong. But not this one. It was well researched and realistic.

    Would I recommend this book to others? Hell yeah! Especially as the dark nights are coming back in, this will be the perfect read.

  13. Jane Hunt

    This is a character-driven police procedural, with well-drawn realistic characters whose multiple human frailties make them authentic. The plot gives heavier emphasis on the police team’s personal lives than is usual in a police procedural. This adds interest to the more routine parts of the story, but for some will detract from the main storyline.

    The investigation of the crimes is detailed and well researched. There is also a mental health theme in this story, which is contemporary, and again, shows copious research.

    The plot has twists and false information, and the ending draws everything together in a satisfying way.

  14. Jessica Belmont

    The Fourth Victim is a really awesome police procedural. I’m impressed with how real Whitechapel felt and how real and relatable the characters were. The case felt real as well, and I was drawn in from the beginning of the novel and it held my attention until the very end.

    I liked the investigation team and the way the investigation was done. It felt realistic, and I’m really impressed with John Mead’s writing. I had trouble putting this book down and I’m looking forward to reading more by him.

    If you enjoy police procedurals, I highly recommend checking this one out. It is definitely worth a read through!

  15. Sandie’s Bookshelves

    The author has clearly done a lot of research into the psychology of the murders featured. I felt the book had a good strong start and a satisfying conclusion however I didn’t find I warmed to the detectives involved and I tied myself in knots in the midsection of the story.

  16. Karen Botha

    I’m not normally one for police procedurals, I used to be but found them all to be a bit on the samey side, so got fed up with them turning to psychological thrillers instead. However, when this book came through on the schedule, something piqued my interest and I had to put my name down to give a review. ‘Perhaps it had something to do with it being set in the neighbourhood where I used to live in London,’ I thought. As I got reading, I understood that I had picked up on the hidden point in the blurb, this was a book with a new take on murder and was a bit of a psychological thriller. And I liked that. I loved that the author isn’t just rolling out the same old checklist of points and encasing them in a different book cover.

  17. Reviews Feed

    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!

  18. Dash Fan Book Reviews

    The Fourth Victim is a Crime Fiction with a great police procedural weaved in. What I liked about this book was the amount of emotion put into it, which made it feel real.

    The characters were a cast of multi-layered, intriguing and strong characters.
    The Fourth Victim was a pacy read, with a few cleverly plotted twists, plenty of action, it was a gripping and intriguing read as I worked alongside the detectives to solve the case. Which I really enjoy doing.

    I am looking forward to seeing if there is a second book in the series, I have a feeling that if it becomes a series it will be one to watch out for!

  19. Curled up with a Good Book

    The story is great and really well written. I did guess who the murderer was about halfway in (but I like to think I’m clever!) but I couldn’t be sure – it was just a suspicion so I HAD to keep reading to the end!

    This is a fantastic thriller that you will most definitely enjoy if you’re a thriller/crime fan like me! Definitely recommended!

  20. Ginger Book Geek

    ‘The Fourth Victim’ is well written. The author has certainly created an interesting plot with equally interesting characters. He manages to draw you into the story pretty quickly and takes you along on one hell of an unpredictable and at times scary rollercoaster ride. The author describes things so well and so realistically that I felt as though I was part of the story myself. In fact, I felt as though I was another police officer. Through the author’s writing style I got a real sense of the urgency that the police feel with a case such as the one in this book.

  21. Herding Cats

    I’m fascinated by the world of policing and although I never mind when it’s glamourised and twisted for the sake of entertainment, it’s refreshing when a story comes along that exposes the harsh reality of the job. John Mead does just that! He includes the everyday frustrations that really impact how fluid and efficient an investigation should be and really brings them to life.

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