A great read that had me pinned to the book long into the night. Deborah treats this difficult subject matter with realism and grace and with traces of Frank Peretti. I highly recommend this book.
Linda Hall, author of Dark Water and many other award winning mysteries
The Defilers has all the components of a commercial bestseller: strong plot, interesting characters, suspense, surprise, and, at the right times, beautiful ambiguity. Gyapong's characters are multi-dimensional; they don't fit into simple stereotypes. The book tackles a difficult subject matter (the child porn industry) with grace. The Defilers is a good plane read--fast paced and well written--but its story will stay with you long after you disembark.
Mary E. DeMuth, author of Wishing on Dandelions and Watching the Tree Limbs.
Best New Canadian Christian Author Deborah Gyapong delivers a layered spiritual thriller told through the eyes of protagonist Linda Donner, a Mountie who finds herself entangled in a demonic murder, drug, kiddie porn drama spanning the globe. While Linda and her partner, Will, and pastor, David, fight the dark forces that have ensnared the town of South Dare, Linda must also fight her own personal demons and find a faith that was shattered years before by sexual abuse she suffered by a priest.
Fast-paced, authentic, intelligent and engaging with a satisfying ending, I would highly recommend this novel.
Jennifer Peacock, writer and journalist
The Defilers is one of those books that you're not sure you want to read when you look at the cover and read the blurbs. The subject matter - child pornography and the reality of the demonic - is disturbing, but the author, Deborah Gyapong handles it well. The suspence in the book keeps you going and the characters are engaging. The main character's struggle is real and compelling.
Marci Laycock, winner of the 2006 Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for One Smooth Stone.
The Defilers features Linda Donner, a Boston native and lapsed Christian with emotional baggage including a reluctance to trust men because of the sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager. Linda heads north to Canada to find herself, joins the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and is posted to (fictional) Sterling County in rural Nova Scotia. There she encounters the community of South Dare, whose residents wear greasy red and green checked shirts, live in tarpaper shacks with satellite TV dishes, and are afraid of outsiders--especially the police. Linda is hardly settled in a rural farmhouse with a smelly oil stove when somebody burns down a local pastor's house. When Linda investigates, she finds a body in the woods. Who is the murdered man? Who murdered him? Who burned down Pastor Jordan's house? Is the pastor as tacky as he seems? Does he molest children sexually, as South Dare residents claim? Pursuing the answers to these questions takes Linda on a journey through a near nervous breakdown, encounters with supernatural evils whose existence she never dreamed of, romance--and a rediscovery of the God she stopped believing in as a teenager. This is a good read for anyone interested in mystery, psychological and spiritual awakening, and the plight of 'the defiled' in society--children subjected to sexual exploitation and abuse.
Elma Schemenauer, author and editor.
The Defilers is a very good read, by the way, with well-drawn characters and a compelling plot. Check it out.
Alan Yoshioka, aka The Sheepcat
I finally got to read The Defilers, and want to say what a strong
novel Deborah Gyapong has written. I knew it would be well done, but
I confess I was afraid of the subject matter. If any of the rest of
you are hesitating like I was, I can say that this wimp wasn't
traumatized, and yet the novel still felt real. Excellent job, Deborah!
If Linda Hall and Frank Peretti were to co-write a novel, it might feel like this one. Authentic, wounded people and spiritual warfare bring depth to this fast-paced novel. Deborah Gyapong handles the troubling subject matter in a way that feels real without being traumatic to the reader. The Defilers is a good read, and a fine first novel. Expect more good things from this author.
Joanna Mallory, writer, member of the The Word Guild.
So very well written from all standpoints: Christian, relationships, the subject matter and the Constable's connection with the past, and last but certainly not
least, the exquisite descriptions of Nova Scotia weather. I could see, hear,
smell and feel the weather through her words, and every day or so I recall
certain aspects - the single car tracks on a wet-snow road, the crunching
across the field in boots, the fog, the blizzards. I'm off tomorrow to go
back to the Annapolis Valley. Sure, my visit is during the gorgeous month of
October but I'm still haunted by Deborah's word pictures of winter down
home. Deborah! More!
Maggie Charleton, writer, member of The Word Guild.
"Deborah Gyapong writes of the physical world and the spiritual world with maturity and extensive attention to detail. It’s obvious Gyapong took great pains to portray spiritual warfare with realism and theological accuracy, and the police investigation rings authentic as well."
"As I read the final chapters of The Defilers, I realized I held my breath, turning each page with trepidation. Pick this book up and expect a gripping, mature story you won’t soon forget."
Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, Ohio
"Deborah's debut, The Defilers, is the first fiction book I've read in years. When she sent it to me, she described it as "an airport novel", and indeed, some smart mass market paperback publisher should snap it up. This police procedural has it all: exorcisms and the occult, murder, cultish kiddie p*rn, romance -- but Deborah didn't win this year's Best New Canadian Christian Fiction Award for nothing. Believe it or not, she manages to tell this twisted mystery tale without graphic sex scenes -- or even swearing -- but this isn't "goodie goodie" tacky "Christian" fiction, either.Poet, author and blogger Kathy Shaidle, of one of the blogosphere's first Catholic bloggers, at Relapsed Catholic.
Each chapter is a cliff-hanger. It was a fun, yet reverent read, with lots of unexpected plot twists (and characters who aren't who you think they are...) to keep you guessing. I think most of my readers would be quite touched by the angry heroine's faltering journey back to the faith.
Deborah's own faith history is harrowing in its own way. She has more about the book, including reviews, at her site."
"I knew it was going to be a suspenseful mystery, well written and well crafted, but it was all that and much more. Reading your book taught me not only a great deal about structuring an exciting plot, but it also reinforced the notion that a great writer can manage to get across some very deep information within a popular genre. It's a hard thing to do, but all the best writers manage to succeed in that way. Cervantes did it, and so did Dickens, Balzac, Galdos, and Gyapong. I found myself turning the pages and reading fast to find out what would happen next, but at the same time I did a lot of thinking and shed the occasional tear. Writing in the first person was quite a tour de force, since the narrator had to spy, eavesdrop, and hide a few times in order to let the reader know what was in the minds of some of the other characters, but she didn't have to do that very often... which again shows the skill of the writer. The very fact that the narrator didn't know what was in the other characters' minds allowed her to be wrong sometimes, too, without making the reader feel hoodwinked. So thanks for a great read."
Best-selling author Sonia Jones of Nova Scotia who wrote "It all Began with Daisy"
"A gripping, credible story about human nature and the rediscovery of a relevant Christian faith. As a former Mountie, I found the author's portrayal of the RCMP authentic. I had trouble putting The Defilers down. Mature beyond what one would expect for a first novel. I highly commend the book."
Dr. Allen Churchill, RCMP Chaplain, and chair of the 1998 Billy Graham Mission to Ottawa
"This is a great achievement. This novel has been given life by its author. But the true story of the text behind the text lies in the community – Deborah’s neighborhood – for stories are always based in community.
As private as this story is, born of the mind and laptop of its writer, it is not to be read outside of its real world of which it is a reflection. So these are more than mere words. An author is caught between being entertaining – or we might as well read the encyclopedia – and making a statement about life – without being overbearing or pretentious. Deborah, you have succeeded in producing a thoughtful page-turner that mirrors our values, our dreams, and our fears.
"Writers wrestle with the weighty issues of the day, reframe the questions, find new means of expression, and refuse to accept the lowest common denominator. Instead they challenge us, anger us, and make us rethink our priorities and values.
Deborah, you have given us a work that ably reflects your own life journey of faith and unfaith. You have reasoned through writing and stuck your neck into things that concern you and should concern us. You have never been without an opinion and this book is no exception. We would not have you or anything you write be anything less than honest and thought provoking
Crafting a book is an exercise in courage. You have worn your heart on your sleeve and I believe, though strange to say as this late stage in your writing career, you have found your voice. Few of us ever do. We are fortunate to be here to witness a voice all of us trust will continue to find its lucid expression."
Pastor Doug Ward, Senior Pastor of Kanata Baptist Church from remarks made at the launch of The Defilers in Ottawa June 1, 2006.
"I just completed The Defilers by Deborah Gyapong. Wow! I could not put the book down. Over the weekend, we went visiting friends up north, and I read the book the whole way in the car. When we arrived, I risked being rude by continuing to read in the car until I had finished the chapter. Then I "snuck" in reading when no one was looking and continued to read even when the adults had settled down to watch a movie that night. When everyone went to bed, I stayed up until 2:30 to finish the novel!
Originally I did not really want to read the book because of the subject matter. But Linda Hall highly recommended it to me, especially given the novel I am currently working on, so I gave in. :) Boy, am I glad I did!
If you have something you must do, do NOT pick up this book. Once you start, you won't be able to put it down."
Kimberley Payne, Author of Voice of a New Christian - a collection of 52 devotional articles and Author of Fit for Faith - 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health
Deborah Gyapong (Ottawa), who won the “2005 Best New Canadian Christian Author Award” for her now newly published book, The Defilers (Castle Quay Books, 2006), will surely rob you of a few hours sleep as you work your way through her first novel—a suspense-filled story set in rural Nova Scotia, involving the RCMP, clergy suspected of arson, abuse and murder and a credible rediscovery of Christian faith. One reviewer says Gyapong’s book is “mature beyond what one would expect for a first novel.” Learn more at www.thedefilers.ca.
David Daniels, book review coordinator for ChristianWeek and director of Toronto's New Covenant House.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer, Linda Donner, is struggling to overcome severe childhood trauma, suffered when she was abused by a priest who came to counsel her. Linda's distrust of men and authority figures is causing her problems at home and in her work place. As she works to solve a death in the seamier side of town, Linda must come face to face with her fears.
The Defilers has a Christian message, including a salvation scene for one of the characters, showing how this person's life is changed afterwards. The author did a nice job depicting the new believer as a new creation in Christ.
Nancy Farrier, Armchair reviews.