The Child Riddler

Angela Greenman

SUSPENSE/THRILLER: Zoe is a hardened agent working for a special ops division of the CIA. Trained from a young age to be an assassin, Zoe is now at crossroads, wanting to step back from her high-octane life and build a life with her girlfriend, Isabel, yet still gain approval from her boss and uncle, Easton. When she involuntarily orphans a young girl, Leah, during her last op, Zoe is further conflicted. Leah’s father has been negotiating a sale of the first ever ‘invisibility’ nano weapon to the highest bidder, and has hidden the codes within riddles that he’s taught Leah making her a prime target. Zoe’s determined for this to be her final mission, to keep Leah safe, and start her new life with her fiancée.  

This story has a fast-paced and intriguing plot line of espionage and counter-espionage, where the writer focuses on strong female characters that are engaging and inclusive, yet also have human flaws. The plot develops steadily with subplots and twists that engage the reader until the middle of the book. From this point on, the storyline devolves into a B-grade action movie, with dialogue that is too simplistic to be from experienced operatives, and plot complexities that are initiated and conclude too fast. The story has the scope to be split into two books to build on the villain’s mindset, and also add more depth to the bond growing between Zoe and Leah, which seems too forced. Nevertheless, “The Child Riddler” is an entertaining read which could have played out better with more background to Zoe’s early life and its similarities to the Nine-year-old Leah.

Rika Chandra