Annette Dupart is assigned to audit an Atlanta-area car dealership. But her task comes to a halt when a high-end vehicle mysteriously disappears and Berry, the dealership’s systems administrator, is found dead in his apartment. In her research, Annette discovers that four cars, including the missing car, have been purchased with a currency she is unfamiliar with — Bitcoins, a “virtual currency used on the Internet to conduct transactions.” Enlisting the services of Vijay Singh, the computer programmer and gamer she awkwardly encountered on her flight to Georgia, Annette learns that Vijay not only belongs to a Bitcoin Investment Club, but that Berry was also a member. As Annette determines to nail down the infamous buyers, the plot thickens when two additional members are murdered.
Patrick W. Emmett raises awareness to the unregulated and clandestine world of Bitcoin in his newest mystery. Invented in 2008, Bitcoins are defined as “a cryptocurrency, a form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and management.” (Wikipedia). For those who are new to this digital currency with its own set of terminology, such as Bitcoin wallet and mining, no problems! Emmett does a fine job aptly elaborating the world of Bitcoins throughout his plot.
Opening with a clandestine scene, Emmett quickly shifts over to the body of his narrative, which is reminiscent of a detective story. Yet contrary to the oft-stereotypical bumbling gumshoe, Emmett’s leading lady is a savvy, sharp-witted, and fiercely independent woman who intrepidly enters uncharted territory, saturated with unforeseen dangers. Appropriately surrounding Annette with an elusive cast of professionals and computer gamers, Emmett creates the perfect setup for a flurry of red herrings. Indeed, Emmett incorporates plenty of ploys to throw his audience off course.
Amid the smoke screens, Emmett focuses his narrative on Annette’s findings. Chapters flow from one unexpected investigative scene to the next, and consistently close on cliffhangers. While the bulk of the plot is in first person, from Annette’s point of view, Emmett periodically slips into third-person character scenes to help break up the storyline and give readers a glimpse into events running concurrently with Annette’s investigation. To keep things lively, Emmett also weaves in a bit of comedic dialogue and the possibility of a budding romance. And if that isn’t entertaining enough, mystery and thriller enthusiasts have much to look forward to since there is more to come in the second book of the Annette Dupart series.
World Castle Publishing
Patrick W. Emmett