#BookReview: The Cipher (Nina Guerrera 1) by Isabella Maldonado @authorbella1

Hi everyone. Still no health updates or improvements, I’m afraid. I’m still waiting to have the chest x-ray. If there’s nothing by tomorrow, I shall have to ask my GP surgery to chase it up. Today, I have a book review for you from another author I’m new to and now love. This is the first book in a 2-book crime-thriller series, and I am waiting eagerly for the second book to release in August >>>

About the Book:

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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.

My Review:

This is the first book by this writer that I’ve read. I’ll be sure to be checking out her other stuff. The Cipher gripped me at the first page and didn’t let go until the very last page.

With a resilient and determined female protagonist, there’s no shortage of action or drama in this fast-paced read. The characters are well drawn and realistic, and I found that I connected with each and every one of them–even the serial killer.

Here are a couple of lines that stood out for me:


They followed him into a cluttered kitchen and stood by while he shoved a stack of papers and a withered houseplant aside to make room at the kitchen table. A dead spider skidded off the side, plopping into a doggy water bowl on the floor. (I love the imagery in these lines.)

‘I don’t think you’re hearing me.’ She had a strong urge to clean out his ears with the barrel of her Glock. (Tee he hee.)


If you’re a fan of police procedural’s and FBI Behavioural Annalysis, then you’ll love this book. I can’t recommend it enough … go and read this entertaining and gripping book! It gets a resounding 5 stars from me.




NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/


24 Comments on “#BookReview: The Cipher (Nina Guerrera 1) by Isabella Maldonado @authorbella1

  1. What a unique book cover design! I love that. And your review has my ears perked up for this book. Thanks for sharing this new author, Harmony!

  2. So sorry you’re still waiting on the x-ray, Harmony. I hope your GP gets you results soon!

    In the meantime, I’m glad you had a good book to distract you.

      • Sorry you haven’t gotten the xray or have improved. Sending you lots of healing hugs. This book sounds like one I’d enjoy, great review.

        • Glad you enjoyed the review. Thanks for your well wishes, Denise. Hugs 🙂

  3. The healthcare in the UK seems to have declined over the past year, Harmony. Lots of people are complaining about long waits for assistance. This book sounds very compelling. Serial killers freak me out a bit though.

    • I know so many people not getting the care they need. Such a shame. Serial killers freak me out too, but the heroine in this story has a lot of gumption, lols. Thanks, Robbie 🙂

    • The book had so many good lines. Thanks for your well wishes, Priscilla 🙂