“The 4th Man” is an in-between short story (#6.5) in the Quincy & Rainie series by Lisa Gardner. It is also brings in D.D. Warren, a character from another series.
This mystery short story was published in Kindle format by Dutton on December 27, 2016.
Blurb: FBI Profiler Pierce Quincy and Officer Rainie Conner return in a baffling cold case in this exclusive eBook short story by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner.
A young woman is found strangled in the stairwell of a college library, only her sneakers missing. With no physical evidence, no signs of sexual assault, and no witnesses, all the police have to go on are the three men who were in the library with her: her boyfriend and two campus security guards . . . all of whom have secrets, none of whom can be proven guilty.
Five years later, ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife, former police officer Rainie Conner, agree to consult on the still-unsolved case, delving into deep background to comb for any clue that will lead to the woman’s murderer. But with no leads and the case colder than the body, will they be able to build a case against one of the three suspects, or is there a fourth man out there? And if the killer has eluded the police this long, how far will he go to ensure justice is never served?
With Gardner’s singular ability to delve into the minds of criminals and law enforcement alike, The 4th Man is a shocking look at the reasons for taking a life . . . and just how far profilers need to go to learn them.
It also includes an early look at Gardner’s next chilling thriller,Right Behind You, coming February 7, 2017.
Jen’s Review of “The 4th Man”
I read “The 4th Man” because the publisher contacted me to write a review. Although I received a free digital advanced reading copy, my opinions are my own.
This review first appeared on our old blog booksthathook. I have modified and updated it for this website.
Boston homicide detective, D.D. Warren, hands a cold case over to Quincy & Rainie, a husband and wife profiler team. Ten years earlier, a college student was found strangled to death in a stairwell at the university library. The student’s sneakers were missing. Quincy & Rainie quickly unravel the mystery surrounding the case, particularly the identities of four persons at the crime scene whom D.D. had not been able to identify. By picking up on the right details during their interrogations, Quincy & Rainie solve the case.
Everything fit together without holes. There was an interesting twist in the motive for the crime, which meshed with all the other details previously provided in the story. The plot seemed well planned and executed. I liked that the story was based on a true crime.
Being that this is a short story, there wasn’t a lot of room for the author to give backstory on the main characters. I didn’t learn much about D.D., Quincy, or Rainie. However, the author did an excellent job of making each speaker sound unique in dialogue. Also, the suspects were all well-developed and individualized. Each had motive and opportunity, which kept me guessing until the end of the story.
From what I read in this story, I believe the main characters are all good people who are dedicated to their jobs and one another. I connected to them easily.
I haven’t read a lot by Lisa Gardner, but this story proved to me that she is a talented writer. I have no complaints about her writing style or technique.
Do I Recommend?
“The 4th Man” is an excellent addition to the series, but you don’t need to have read other books to enjoy it. It is a quick, enjoyable read. Even though the story consists of mostly suspect interviews, which necessitates a lot of dialogue and not much physical action, I found it to be fast paced and entertaining from start to finish. I give “The 4th Man” five stars and recommend it to anyone who likes stories about cases that are so weird they are hard to believe they are true.