Stephen White's book is well researched. He did the research in order to set a spine-tingling murder against the backdrop of authority.
Much of the "history" in "Higher Authority" is true, though I certainly have not heard it talked about among the Mormons I know--even during religous and historical discourses. Still, I believe that if White has an axe to grind (as many reviews on this page have suggested), it is against authority run amok, not specificially against Mormons. White has a story to tell and he has chosen an area in which authority has a real presence in which to place that story. I'll bet if anyone bothered to ask Mr. White, he might have a soft spot in his heart for people in general, Mormons included.
If I have any criticism of "Higher Authority" it is that, though the basics are researched, it is soon apparent that Ambrose didn't live in Utah long, if at all. It's not that he gets anything in terms of description or background really wrong, just that it somehow feels incomplete.
This is, however, how genre fiction is often written. And this book IS fiction. The author does not claim that this story actually happened. Nor does he suggest it will. He is spinning a tale and he does it well. "Higher Authority" is not a philosophical treatise. It's a novel. A GENRE novel. Read it an enjoy it for what it is.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of "This is the Place"