Six female students have gone missing from the Arizona Institute of Technology, and campus police have called in the FBI to help. Kidnapping becomes serial murder when the bodies of five are discovered. The way the bodies have been staged suggest a connection to ancient religion and the art of falconry.
How is the killer targeting these women? How is he abducting them on a campus whose every square inch is under video surveillance? Most importantly, who is the killer, and why is he killing?
Those are the questions the Behavioral Analysis Unit team faces in The Falcon, Isabella Maldonado’s third novel featuring cop-turned-FBI-profiler Nina Guerrera. The clock is ticking because two more women have gone missing, including someone very close to Guerrera. Will the team find them in time?
The Falcon is well-written and fast-paced. I read it in a couple of sittings. The perspective of the novel is that of an omniscient narrator, who switches back and forth from Guerrera’s perspective to that of the killer. Guerrera’s character development over the trilogy is interesting. And the plot is twisty enough that I was surprised when the villain was finally revealed.
My main complaint about the book is that the last 10% is anticlimactic. Usually, all the pieces of the plot fall into place once the villain is revealed. Here, however, Maldonado has use multiple chapters to explain things retrospectively. Those chapters were interesting, of course, but not as page-turner-ish as what preceded the big reveal.
Still, I like the Nina Guerrera character, and the book entertained me. Because the trilogy is chronological, you might want to start with the first installment, The Cipher, then read A Different Dawn and The Falcon.
I have enjoyed the series and look forward to a fourth installment.
Isabella Maldonado, The Falcon (Seattle: Thomas and Mercer, 2022).
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