cover image The Falcon

The Falcon

Isabella Maldonado. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-1-5420-3562-0

Maldonado’s middling third outing for FBI special agent Nina Guerrera (after 2021’s A Different Dawn) takes Nina and her FBI team to Phoenix to find the unsub who abducted five coeds from the Arizona Institute of Technology. There’s little to go on: campus surveillance video has been tampered with, no witnesses surface, and poison has been dispersed at the crime scenes negating any use of tracking dogs. Then a sixth coed disappears, and the first five bodies are found in an abandoned mineshaft, each in the process of being mummified. Leather anklets are present on each corpse, and each is holding a black ostrich feather. The team must now overcome a highly intelligent serial killer while contending with a professor offended when investigative details aren’t shared with him and the campus security chief disgruntled by the team taking over his case. Though the intricate investigative methods the FBI employ fascinate, the repetitive recital of specifics from the series’ previous books and the overly detailed descriptions of falconry and ancient Egyptian history become tedious. Hopefully, Maldonado will return to form next time. Agent: Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency. (June)