Review: The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado

Title: The Cipher Book Cover
Title: The Cipher Series: Nina Guerrera Genre: Thriller Publisher: Thomas and Mercer Format: All Pages: 332 Source: Amazon

Publisher Description

FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera escaped a serial killer’s trap at sixteen. Years later, when she’s jumped in a Virginia park, a video of the attack goes viral. Legions of new fans are not the only ones impressed with her fighting skills. The man who abducted her eleven years ago is watching. Determined to reclaim his lost prize, he commits a grisly murder designed to pull her into the investigation…but his games are just beginning. And he’s using the internet to invite the public to play along.

His coded riddles may have made him a depraved social media superstar—an enigmatic cyber-ghost dubbed “the Cipher”—but to Nina he’s a monster who preys on the vulnerable. Partnered with the FBI’s preeminent mind hunter, Dr. Jeffrey Wade, who is haunted by his own past, Nina tracks the predator across the country. Clue by clue, victim by victim, Nina races to stop a deadly killer while the world watches.

Thrilling Reads Book Review

This was an Amazon Best Book of the Month (Mystery, Thriller & Suspense) and I agree. This was the best thriller I read in October (thanks to Amazon First reading program I received an advance copy).

Nina Guerrera is the teenage survivor of a heinous crime in which she escaped from the clutches of a serial killer. This and her horrific childhood causes her to confront her fears and embark in a law enforcement career that leads her to the FBI where she joins the hunt for a cunning and terrifying serial killer while the world watches a killer who’s using the internet to invite the public to play along in his twisted games.

This is a gripping, heart-pounding thriller with sharp plotting, interesting and conflicted characters, and a fascinating antagonist.

Maldonado’s law enforcement background makes this an engaging police procedural that puts you front and center in the action.

Nina Guerrera is a compelling character with a horrific backstory. She kicks major ass.

The book is gritty and raw and it doesn’t pull back punches in its portrayal of the crimes committed including children, so it’s not for everyone. But I enjoy gritty tense serial killer thrillers so I enjoyed this book very much.

It’s easy one of my top five favorite thrillers of 2020.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

It's safe to say that Alan Petersen loves mystery and thriller books. He writes high-octane thrillers, hosts the MEET THE THRILLER AUTHOR podcast, and reviews thriller/mystery books.

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