Code of Conduct (Cipher Security #1)


Everybody has secrets. Private Investigator Shane moves through Chicago as S. Hane to keep the painful details of her past buried, but new Cipher Security agent Gabriel Eze’s interest threatens to unearth them. When the personal drama of one of Shane’s clients collides with the integrity of one of Gabriel’s accounts, the impact changes the course of their lives. Shane’s emotionally and physically tough exterior shields her inner core of vulnerability, traits she and Gabriel share. A dating app meetup with Shane’s target leads to a joint investigation into shady financial transactions, sketchy software designers, assorted betrayals, and surprising revelations. Shane’s attitude of unapologetic assertiveness matches Gabriel’s, which makes their professional partnership work. Their personal attraction gets more complicated as they figure out how to catch the bad guys. 

Solidly anchored as an offshoot from the established world of the Cipher Security Office series, “Code of Conduct” works on all levels as a stand-alone. Shane’s strong voice immediately hooks readers. Her practical approach to daily life as a person with physical challenges resonates with present-day realism. Contrasts between Shane’s family of choice and Gabriel’s family of biology highlight fundamental similarities of love, trust, and laughter. An organically inclusive cast, interesting secondary characters, interconnected mysteries, and a fast narrative pace that accelerates with each chapter are only a few of the elements that make this story a compelling read. Sometimes well-crafted stories manage to equal more than the sum of their excellent parts to offer a reading experience that satisfies in every way. “Code of Conduct” is one of those stories. It checks all of the contemporary romance thriller wish-list boxes!

Cardyn Brooks