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Fatal Encryption    by Debra Purdy Kong order for
Fatal Encryption
by Debra Purdy Kong
Order:  USA  Can
Gypsy Moon Press, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's Halloween in Vancouver, Canada and Alex Bellamy (dressed as Kermit the Frog) and his fellow trick-or-treater, (dressed as Miss Piggy) find more than scary figures blackmailing homeowners for bags of candy. A man is killed at the height of a fancy Halloween party. Alex is hired by a department store chain's executives to find who has sabotaged their linking computers. The villain threatens more damage if a large amount of money isn't paid by a certain date.

Thus begins Debra Purdy Kong's Fatal Encryption, second of the Alex Bellamy series. The story is carried mostly by dialogue, which works very well. I like Alex, who has misgivings about his course in life but works to find one which he will like and at which he can excel. His choice of girlfriends tends to be erratic, but hey, he's trying. His sense of humor is delightful. The employees of the chain prove to be interesting in themselves and almost everyone is a suspect at one time or another - especially after an ex-employee is murdered.

Action flows through the pages but didn't raise goosebumps on the back of my neck. While the action itself is plotted well, it just doesn't seem as tense as it should. Never mind. It's still a good read. I know very little about computers and what is presented in this book makes me realize I never will. But I sure enjoyed reading about someone else's expertise. This mystery is a trifle heavy to carry to the beach, but it's worth the effort.

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