Sunday, March 8, 2009


An Alex Bellamy mystery

Gypsy Moon Press 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0-9699211-1-0
Format: paperback 21.1*14*2.3, 370pp
Price: $19.95

Suspense/ Mystery/ Murder

Reviewed by Maria Gouna


About the author:
Debra Purdy Kong has a Diploma of Associate in Criminology from Douglas College but prefers to write about crime rather than work for the Criminal Justice System. She lives in Port Moody, British Columbia with her family and is a very devoted mother. Debra has published more than eighty short stories; some of them are mystery, some humorous and some horror. In addition, she has published essays and articles. Her first mystery novel is “Taxed to Death” and among her pieces of work is “Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul” and “The Vancouver Sun”. She has also won writing awards that include: First Place Short Story with “The Taste of Peppermint”, Second Place Essay with “Success and the Worthy Cause”, Honourable Mention for Short Story with “Some Mother’s Child”. You can contact her at or visit her site and blogs: , , and at .

About the book:
Alex, a former system-analyst at Revenue Canada, is asked by his girlfriend to accept the job at the McKinley’s Department Stores. His mission is to find the hacker who threatens to encrypt and destroy every e-file of the company unless ten million dollars are handed to him. Who has delivered the anonymous letters? Is the head of security involved in the pranks and what are his motives? It’s the 16th of November and Alex must do his best till the 1st of December. Time runs out and things become more complicated as he discovers that the McKinleys are in a constant battle for the control of the family business. Very soon he realizes that a murder is closely connected to the McKinley’s problems. Perhaps the only witness to the murder is a young girl but will she reveal what she saw that night? Will Alex believe her? Moreover, he has to find out whether the hack and the killer is the same guy or not. The mystery seems not easily solvable when the latest analyst at the McKinley’s is killed in a car accident that turns out not to be an accident and Alex has to solve one more murder. The deadline is close and there hasn’t been much of a progress. The closer he comes to an answer, the more at risk he finds his and his friends’ lives. There are a lot of suspects, mostly people who have been laid off and who probably want a payback for being fired. Will Alex save the company and become the hero he always wanted to be in the eyes of his family? Is he brave enough to face the extortionist and the murderer?

Fatal Encryption is divided into 36 chapters. It caters to readers who love suspense, and murder stories as it is a well-plotted mystery full of unexpected events, power plays, affairs and family problems. Furthermore, action is present throughout the book so the reader doesn’t get bored; not even for a moment. What really stimulates the reader’s interest is that nearly all of the characters are plausible suspects. S/he never stops guessing but cannot identify the culprit and this makes it a riveting, exciting and entertaining book till its very end. Finally, the characters could be the people next door and especially Alex is a guy the readers will definitely identify with. I strongly recommend it to mystery lovers as I’m sure it won’t disappoint them at all.

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