Book Review: The Iris Code by Anita Dickason

  • Title: The Iris Code
  • Author: Anita Dickason
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Medical Thriller
  • Would I recommend: Without question. If you want a story with relentless action, characters that are vividly imagined and well written, and a mystery that keeps you guessing, you need this book.


A local reporter and photographer’s canine search and rescue training at an abandoned farm outside of Fredericksburg, Texas, takes a bizarre twist. Riley Phillips’ dog, Milo, alerts on the real deal—a corpse with a bullet hole in his head.

Riley’s nose for news is already twitching over the gruesome discovery. When the body turns up missing, her spider senses kick into overdrive. Who doesn’t want the man identified, and why? Are her crime scene photographs the only clue?

What Riley’s camera captured puts the FBI Tracker Unit on high alert, and Riley in a killer’s crosshairs. Learning the identity of the mystery man takes on an ominous urgency.

Can FBI Tracker Cody Lightfoot and Riley find the answer in time to stop a deadly attack? Or will they be the next victims?

Anita Dickason is one of my favorite suspense authors, and she could probably write a grocery list and make it a compelling read. So I was excited when The Iris Code, the latest in her Tracker series, came out!

Riley Phillips is exasperated with her trainee search and rescue dog, Milo. He’s alerted on something, but that isn’t where she left the decoy he was supposed to find. Imagine Riley’s surprise when she finds Milo has identified an actual dead body. Riley, also a reporter and photographer for the local newspaper, documents the scene before law enforcement arrives. When the body goes missing and local law enforcement seems disinclined to find out what happened, Riley realizes her photos may be the only evidence that could identify the man. The case is soon brought to the attention of the Tracker team, and Agent Cody Lightfoot is sent to investigate. Weird things are happening. Dangerous things. Somebody clearly doesn’t want the dead man’s identity known, and Riley and Cody have to figure out what’s going on before one or both of them end up dead, too.

Things start off with a bang. Right away, Dickason had me wondering what was up with local law enforcement. The sheriff clearly has history with Riley, and it isn’t good. And when the dead body goes missing, his glib dismissal of the case as closed is positively criminal. (I know there are some bad/useless cops in the world, but the sheriff here seems to take that to a whole new level.) The deputies “working” the case aren’t much better. Billy Thatcher seems pleasant enough, almost apologetic for his fellow officers, but Mickey Bennett sure feels like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Cody is a great addition to the Tracker team. He’s good at what he does, and I expect his unique abilities will prove incredibly useful. And while romance definitely isn’t the focal point of the story, the relationship growing between him and Riley has me hoping we see more of the two of them in future Tracker novels.

Dickason’s characters, as always, are well written, and the mystery is compelling. I didn’t see the big reveal coming until it smacked me upside the head. This is definitely a “keep you up past your bedtime” read, so I don’t recommend starting it on an evening where you have to be up early the next day!

The Iris Code is a fantastic read, and I’d suggest it for anyone who loves a good mystery, a story told by someone who really knows her stuff, and a book that will leave you thirsty for the next in the series.

About the author:

Award-winning author Anita Dickason is a twenty-two-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics detective, advanced accident investigator, SWAT tactical officer, and the team’s first female sniper.

Anita’s extensive law enforcement experience and knowledge provide the inspiration for her plots, and characters. She writes about what she knows, cops and crime.

Her works have received multiple awards from Book Viral Millennium Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, Literary Titan Book Awards, Independent Author Network Book Awards, and Speak Up Talk Radio Firebird Award.



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