J.D. Barker Books

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J.D. Barker is an American indie and traditionally published bestseller that writes mystery, horror, and thriller novels. A native of Lombard, Illinois, Barker was born in 1971. He spent over a decade of his childhood in Crystal Lake before moving to Englewood in Florida, with his family.

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Order of Shadow Cove Saga Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Forsaken 2014 Description / Buy

Order of 4MK Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Fourth Monkey 2017 Description / Buy
2 The Fifth to Die 2018 Description / Buy
3 The Sixth Wicked Child 2019 Description / Buy

Order of J.D. Barker Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Dracul ( With: Dacre Stoker) 2018 Description / Buy
2 She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be 2020 Description / Buy
3 The Coast-to-Coast Murders ( With: James Patterson) 2020 Description / Buy
4 A Caller's Game 2021 Description / Buy
5 The Noise ( With: James Patterson) 2021 Description / Buy
6 Death of the Black Widow ( With: James Patterson) 2022 Description / Buy
7 Behind a Closed Door 2024 Description / Buy
8 Confessions of the Dead ( With: James Patterson) 2024 Description / Buy

J.D. Barker Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Ancient Enemies 2016 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

A former student at Lemon Bay High School, he eventually studied business at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, graduating with a degree. College changed Barker’s destiny in unexpected ways. His life took a dramatic turn when Paul Gallota (Circus Magazine) read one of his writing assignments and invited the author to join the 25th Parallel.

The highlights of his career include working with Marilyn Manson before he became a renowned rockstar, interviewing celebrities for publications like ‘Seventeen’ and investigating supernatural occurrences for a newspaper column (Revealed).

Some people think ‘The Fourth Monkey’ is Barker’s first novel. But that crown belongs to ‘Forsaken,’ a 2014 release that Stephen King read before giving him permission to use one of his characters (Leland Gaunt).

‘Forsaken’ occasionally goes unnoticed by newer fans because it was indie-published, becoming a hit on platforms like Amazon and Audible and even receiving awards recognition. Bram Stoker’s family was so impressed by ‘Forsaken,’ they gave the author Stoker’s notes and journals and tasked him with writing a ‘Dracula’ prequel.

Barker reached such impressive heights in indie publishing that traditional agents came calling, paving the way for ‘The Fourth Monkey’ in 2016, the author’s debut thriller. While some readers described him as an overnight success, Barker’s journey was long.

The staunch introvert started writing as a child. The dark scared him. He couldn’t help but obsess over the creeping shadows and sounds. Everyone told him he had nothing to fear. The creaking was merely the house settling. The blackness was empty. Nothing waited underneath his bed.

But Barker couldn’t sleep without slamming the closet door shut, checking under the bed (twice), and pulling his sheets over his head. He was also hesitant to go down the basement, not after all the stories he had read that chronicled the horrors little boys encountered after stupidly wandering into dark places alone.

Reading gave young Barker some peace of mind. He could always lose himself in a good book. Naturally, a time came when he felt the desire to tell his own stories. The author poured the fears that haunted him onto the page, producing numerous tales filled with ghosts and ghouls.

This habit followed him into adulthood. His friends and family don’t understand why he prefers to spend his waking hours writing in a quiet room. He has tried to explain that he can’t shut his imagination off.

The characters rummaging through his mind will keep knocking until he gives them form. This is why he keeps a notepad next to his bed. The author will wake up at night to jot down several pages of the ideas that suddenly came to him.

Barker wishes everyone could enjoy the bliss that comes from putting pen to paper and opening the door to a fictional realm filled with magic.

J.D. Barker Awards

Barker’s accolades include a New Apple Medalist Award, Earphones Award, Audie Award, and a Bram Stoker Award nomination.

Best J.D. Barker Books

The author’s biggest influences are Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, John Saul, and Dean Koontz. Barker’s best books include:

The Fourth Monkey: Chicago was free. The Four Monkey Killer was finally dead. But even after they discovered his body, Detective Sam Porter, who led the 4MK task force, couldn’t rest. The Four Monkey Killer had taken one final victim before perishing.

Now, Detective Porter is on a mission. Using the dead man’s diary, he will wade through the psychopath’s mind in the hopes of finding a missing girl before it’s too late.

The Fifth To Die: A young girl was dead. They found her beneath Jackson Park Lagoon’s frozen waters, which made no sense because the lagoon froze months ago, yet Ella Reynolds disappeared three weeks ago.

Even more baffling were her clothes, which belonged to a girl that went missing two days earlier. What did it all mean? The captain wanted Detective Porter and his team to find out. Unfortunately, Porter was hellbent on tracking down Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer. He couldn’t drop the case, no matter how hard he tried.

Now, the captain has suspended Porter. His partners –Clair and Nash– must carry on without him.

When Does The Next J.D. Barker book come out?

J.D. Barker doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Confessions of the Dead and was released on July, 9th 2024.


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