Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Debra Purdy Kong
Halloween—Port Moody, British Columbia: Unable to join the trick-or-treating fun due to the chicken pox, one young suburban girl is the sole witness to a costumed reveler responsible for brutal premeditated murder. Nearby, the wife of the victim’s brother storms home from a party and finds the body. But why was he killed? What did he know?
Alex Bellamy a young computer geek in need of work takes a contract job to solve recent network and computer glitches at his girlfriend’s company. He soon learns that the glitches are more than just pranks. In fact, all of the computers vital records are encrypted by an extortionist threatening to destroy all of the records or pay ten million dollars to save the company. Soon Bellamy is engulfed in a whirlwind of corporate greed and believes that not only is the company at risk but lives as well; the suburban murder and the young girls knowledge is the key to unlocking the conspirators’ identity. In his zeal to debug the company’s computer system and solve the murder, Bellamy finds his as well as his friends and families lives are in danger.
Debra Purdy Kong’s book “Fatal Encryption” is an entertaining mystery full of back room corporate deals, family squabbles and power plays, secret affairs, and murder. I enjoyed this novel. Kong creates multiple plausible suspects throughout the story leaving the reader guessing all the way until the end. I was also surprised by how bold and brave Alex Bellamy was throughout the book. He frequently questioned potential suspects telling them how he believed they committed various crimes which if true would have put him in grave danger as in most situations he was alone with these potential killers.
Reminiscent of “Murder She Wrote”, “Fatal Encryption” features an everyday guy with good observational and deductive skills who solves a crime. Kong has created an interested character and I look forward to the next Alex Bellamy mystery.