#BookBeginnings The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado

Today I have a thriller by a local author, The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



The Cipher* by Isabella Maldonado

(*Amazon Affiliate link)


Summary:   FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera is haunted by her troubled childhood. When a specter from her past starts a killing spree, Guerrera teams with mind hunter Dr. Jeffrey Wade to track him down.

First Sentence:

Nina Esperanza gazed up at the man who held her fate in his hands. Judge Albert McIntyre perused the submitted documents in silence.

Discussion:  Isabella Maldonado is a retired police captain and local Phoenix author. I’ve seen her speak several times, and have read the first book of her earlier series. As you would expect, the police procedures in her novels are spot on.  This one seems to be a lot more deeply violent than I remember her earlier works.

I like that we aren’t quite sure what is going on in the beginning. Is Nina a criminal about to be sentenced?


The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.


Wade lowered his voice. “If any of this becomes uncomfortable, I expect you to let me know.”

She looked him straight in the eye and lied. “I will.” She was already fifty clicks past uncomfortable.


Yikes, I know I’m in writer mode when I want to edit the quote. Anyway, the “fifty clicks past uncomfortable” captures her voice nicely.

What do you think? Are you in a thriller mood for Halloween?


  1. Catherine @ Book Club Librarian

    I like the excerpts–sounds like a good story.

  2. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I am always eager to read a story with agents and someone that is a mind hunter! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  3. Freda Mans-Labianca

    Love both snippets, sounds intense! Happy Halloween weekend!

  4. Ashley S.

    Love those snippets. I’m intrigued for more. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  5. Literary Feline

    I love that last line in your Friday 56. This sounds like a good one! I hope you continue to enjoy it.

  6. Sammie @ The Bookwyrm's Den

    The first line grabs me for the same reason you mentioned. I assumed she was a criminal at first, but then I was like there are other possible reasons to go before a judge! I do love the “fifty clicks past uncomfortable,” too!

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