The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado

Nina Guerrera, Book 1

Synopsis: To a cunning serial killer, she was the one that got away. Until now…

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.

Review: This is the very first detective/thriller book I read of the author and I was excited to see how it turned out, especially since I didn’t know this series at all.

Nina Guerrera did not have an easy childhood, far from it. She even changed her identity to start over and the name Guerrera, “warrior”, shows what she really is. Now an FBI agent, she sees her past catch up with her. A young girl has been killed and the murder is eerily similar to what happened when she was kidnapped as a child. Having to team up with a person who did everything to prevent her from joining the FBI, she will try to understand who is responsible and stop him. Maybe make peace with everything that happened to her and start over.

I had a good time with this novel, even though at first I had a little trouble getting into the story. I was curious to see how Nina would fare, as the mystery killer is very clever. It will be far from easy!