The Numbers Killer

An Agent Victoria Heslin Thriller, Book 1
Narrated by: Stephanie Dillard
Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

You’ll never view odd numbers the same way again!

When a key witness in an organized crime trial turns up dead in his kitchen with liar and the number two scrawled on his forehead, the FBI assumes the murder was a hit to silence him. Then the calls start coming in - more victims with similar markings and no connection to the mob.

As agents Victoria Heslin and Dante Rivera struggle to catch a break in the case, they receive a series of cryptic personal messages from the killer, complicating the investigation. Something disturbing and frightening is underway, and anyone might be next, including the agents, unless they uncover the common denominator. 

Best-selling author Jenifer Ruff delivers a gripping, new psychological thriller that will appeal to fans of The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn as well as serial killer favorites like The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris and Kiss the Girls by James Patterson.

Praise for The Numbers Killer

“Jenifer Ruff’s best book yet! I was hooked from page one until the very twisty ending." (Caryn Sutorus, author)

“Shocking, chilling, and fascinating - Jenifer Ruff’s latest book takes us into the twisted mind of a young murderess as she goes on a cold-blooded killing spree.” (Karen D. Scioscia, author and journalist)

“Cancel your plans because you can’t put this book down. A nail-biting, thrill ride from beginning to end.” (Susan Mills Wilson, Author)

”I love this book. The bad guys are really bad, but also interesting and sympathetic; the good guys are pure of heart and determined, but all too human. It’s nonstop, in-your-face storytelling the way only Jenifer Ruff can.” (Dan Alatorre, author of The Navigators and Double Blind)

The Numbers Killer is the first book in the Agent Victoria Heslin series and can be listened to as a stand-alone. Buy the audiobook now!

©2019 Jenifer Ruff (P)2019 Jenifer Ruff

What listeners say about The Numbers Killer

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4 8 12

This was a excellent start to a promising series Jenifer knows how to write likeable characters from deranged to beautiful and placing them in realistic scenarios Stephanie was the perfect Choice for narrator If you enjoyed this make sure to check out her Brooke Walton series I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

5 people found this helpful

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A brilliant book to start with a new author

I really enjoy listening to this on audible , I did start reading it but then swapped to listening. Oh how different the characters were with me being English and the narrator being from USA * titter* It really was different! I really enjoyed how you are thrown right into the story and even made to feel the same as the two agents Heslin and Rivera like they were really struggling to get an chance or a clue to the bodies and the numbers . It was a listen that was explained as I went along and helped me to stick with it. There were lots of twists and turns to catch your attention and try to think out and to solve the murders and the next part. Try not to solve ahead if you are listening because it does spoil it somewhat , just listen and enjoy the lovely voice and the awesome characters grows before your I have bought a few more audible versions of Ms Ruff’s work and will review the when I have listened bravo👏

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Psychological Read

When the first victim is murdered with a number scrawled on his forehead, the FBI assumes it was a mob hit. After all, he was the key witness in an organized crime trial. However, when more people start to turn up dead, things aren’t so clear. Enter Victoria Heslin. When Victoria starts to receive cryptic messages from who she believes to be the killer, her window of time to solve the case begins to close. Delaying it might mean her own death. I think the most interesting part of this book was trying to get in the killer’s head and figure out why she was doing what she was. That was the mystery part of this book because we know who the killer is all along. I liked that little mix up on the genre. It made the read a lot more intense to me. The interchanging POVs between killer and special agent amped up the suspense and made it hard to find stopping points. It’s for that reason I tried to listen to the entire book in one go. It had me hooked. Victoria was a great character. She was kind and determined. A very easy to understand main character and for that reason, it was easy to cheer her on. I think the killer was my favorite character though just because she was such an enigma. There was plenty of intrigue and foreshadowing, and I love that I couldn’t outright guess what would happen next. Narration was perfect for this story. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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Kept me listening!

Entertaining and very descriptive. I enjoyed my first audible book experience and am looking forward to more books by Jenifer Ruff!

1 person found this helpful

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Great bones

I’m having a bit of a rough time with this book. On the one hand, the story and the narration were both solid and enjoyable, on the other I just couldn’t stand or understand the main character. Now I’m a huge dog lover to the point where I called my parent’s last dog my baby brother, but Victoria took it to a whole other level, and one that didn’t quite fit with protecting and serving I might add – at least not the human kind. Case in point; an elder couple were brutally murdered while out hiking with their dogs. However when Victoria is talking with the couple’s children and they aren’t immediately concerned with the dogs she blames and looks down on them for it?!? THEIR PARENTS WERE JUST KILLED… they were naturally in shock trying to understand that. But that didn’t seem to face our dear lead, only the poor dogs that had just lost their mates… The dogs in this book took up entirely too much space, the mention of them, were in ever few sentences. Frankly I was there for the mystery, not the dog walking. The mystery was a solid one, if a bit too obvious – and I’m not talking about knowing the identity of the killer, we know that from page 1 and follow them throughout the book. I mean the supposed twist in the end, sadly that too was painfully obvious from the start. The narrator, Stephanie Dillard, on the other hand I was a big fan of. She did a great job with bringing the characters to life. But also making it easy for the reader to differentiate between the different characters. You never wondered who was speaking and it was easy to follow along. She had good pacing, a bit on the faster side, but I’m a huge fan of that, it keeps me on my toes. This might have been my first book by both author and narrator and while I’m not going to continue with the series, I’d happily pick up more books by both. A copy of this book was generously provided by the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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What a mystery!

This is a great story with a shocking ending! Love the characters and the storyline. Great read I received a review copy

1 person found this helpful

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A dark and twisty tale.............

The Numbers Killer is a suspenseful, intriguing mystery from the first page to the last. Although the listener knows the murderer from the beginning, trying to figure out why she is committing the murders is entirely more challenging. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, but the killer (Beth) and the FBI special agent (Victoria) investigating the sudden and violent crime spree are the main focus of the book. Special Agent Victoria Heslin is a strong, resilient, confident investigator, but she is soft and kind and uncertain in her personal life. By showing her in action on the job, then instantly transforming into a loving and effusive caretaker to her rescue dogs, then turning hesitant and self-doubting in her interactions with her fellow special agent Dante and her dog babysitter Ned, the author adds great depth to Victoria's character. As much as I enjoyed Victoria's role in the book, I found the inside look at the killer's mind even more fascinating. The author is the queen of misdirection, and, just when I thought I figured out Beth's motivation, the story would take a turn in a new direction, and I was stumped again. With brilliant foreshadowing, the perfect level of creepiness to be thrilling without being too scary, and highly relatable characters, The Numbers Killer is the ideal choice for fans of the mystery/thriller genre. This was my first exposure to Stephanie Dillard's narration, but it won't be my last. I am still amazed at her level of talent given that she has relatively few audiobooks to her name. Her performance is flawless, she differentiates extremely well between characters, and she made the mental breakdown of the killer all the more believable. I cannot imagine a better choice of narrators for this psychologically twisted story. I see from Amazon that the author is continuing the series, so I fervently hope she produces an audiobook narrated by Dillard in the near future. I received a copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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A very suspenseful psychological thriller

This is a very suspenseful psychological thriller with realistically drawn, compelling characters. And Stephanie Dillard voices those characters distinctly and appropriately with her excellent narration. The story is complete and portends a promising series. NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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Chilling and suspenseful unique thriller

A serial killer is leaving a trail of clues and dead bodies with numbers on them. Agents Victoria and Dante must figure out the killer's mind before more bodies pile up. This was a unique serial killer story in that you get to hear the killer's point of view and understand their thinking. It was fascinating and intriguing having a woman serial killer for a change. The story was full of fast paced action and suspense with cleverly interwoven chapters and a twisted ending. Stephanie narrated well, and was a good fit for the story. I would recommend this chilling and suspenseful story and i look forward to hearing the others in the series. Note: This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this objective review voluntarily.

1 person found this helpful

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Easy to get invested

in the story line and the characters. It seems to me to be more "cop shop" drama than thriller. It is a bit predictable, but not so much it ruins the listen. The story starts quick and it keeps a fast past, didn't have the urge to fast forward to get thru anything that was dragging plot wise. There were some things I wish would have wrapped up better at the end, but overall the story flows quite well and I look forward to the next book in the series. As someone who does Doberman rescue, Victoria's "at home" story line had me by the heart. If you are a fan of Lisa Gardner's D.D. Warren stories, you may find this author a good listen. Ms. Ruff's writing style isn't as gritty and twisty as Ms. Gardner's but the feel of that twist and turn is there. Call it "Gardner light". If you are someone who is annoyed/put off by a lot of swearing, this book is for you. Now days it is hard to find something that isn't one long string of swear words, not the case here. It's not the least bit graphic in any nature. The narration is solid. Easy on the ears and skilled. I'm not a huge fan of female narrators since they tend to be whiney and screechy, but not an issue with Ms. Dillard. She has a solid range and handles male voices better than most women do. Given the location of the story, I appreciated the fact Ms. Dillard didn't try to use local inflection. No bad attempts at southern dialect, no hillbilly sounding hicks, no butchered vernacular. As someone who lives in the south and has spent time in the area this story is placed, I say thank you to the producers and the narrator. I received this audio book free in return for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 08-30-19

A number one hit

I enjoyed this book it was unusual to know who the killer was but it worked well and helped build up the suspense. The story is told from from a number of perspectives, the main two being the killer and the FBI agent hunting the killer down. I liked the characters and the way they work out what was going on. The touch of romance added spice to the story without getting in the way of solving the case. Agent Heslin is called in when the star witness in an organised crime trail is found dead but would a hitman really leave a calling card? And why number two? Who is number one and will there be more ? These are just a few of the question Heslin and her partner Rivera must answer if they stand a chance of catching the killer. Then another body is found with another number and this time a message directed personally to the agents themselves. This victim has no connection to organised crime and the pair struggle to come up with a connection. Does someone have a list and just how many people are on it? I liked the narrator and could always tell which character was talking making it an enjoyable story to listen to. I will be looking out for the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Slizzy
  • 11-20-19

Couldn’t listen to this - readers voice extremely annoying!

Couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters...that voice, no way Jose!! Maybe I’ll try reading it myself.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-22-19

Great book!

Very good, weird murder mystery! Really keeps you interested! Also the audible book really brings the book to life! I received this audio book from the author and this is my voluntary opinion!

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  • Incog Nito
  • 09-17-19

My Honest Review

this is not the usual type of book I like to read so it took me a while to get into the story, but once i did I was hooked until the final word. first time listening to Jennifer's work and must say I am impressed so far, an book you can enjoy that gives your brain a workout at the same time ☺