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Higher Authority Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1996

3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (Feb. 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451185110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451185112
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.9 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #472,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Featuring the hero of White's earlier novels, Alan Gregory, this thriller concerns a sexual harassment case implicating a Mormon Supreme Court judge.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Attorney Lauren Crowder recommends a Salt Lake City lawyer for her younger sister, who has accused her former boss, an impeccably Mormon woman with high political and church connections, of sexual harassment. Crowder assists a private investigator in gathering information on the potentially explosive case, but murder intervenes: someone kills the P.I. and the former boss. Crowder then calls upon boyfriend Alan Gregory (Private Practices, Viking, 1993) to outmaneuver the ubiquitous, corrupt tentacles of the Mormon church. Much background research supports fine prose, subtle characterization, and intricate plotting. A good selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Inside This Book

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Robin Torr tapped the eraser end of a pencil against the cleft in her chin and said, "The truth, Lauren. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The hook in this book is Mormondom. If you're not interested in that, you probably won't like Higher Authority.
Just to be clear about where I'm coming from, I'm not a Mormon, nor would I ever consider becoming one, given what I know about their beliefs and practices, which is quite a lot. As a Catholic-minded Christian interested in other religions, I have spent a good deal of time looking into Mormonism. It is true, for example, that Mormons at one time practiced blood atonement, as described in the book. It is also true that they wear special temple undergarments. Mormons also believe that God was once a man, and that men can become Gods, ruling over other planets as God rules over ours. One of their theologians put it this way: "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become."
Those at this site who have objected to the book's depiction of Mormonism, calling it "Mormon bashing," have not specifically stated where the author has misrepresented Mormonism. Not in the area of beliefs, at least as far as I can discern. It is also well-known that the Mormon Church discourages critical investigation of its origins, history, beliefs, and practices. Unlike Christianity (and I do not consider Mormonism a part of Christianity), which has allowed itself to be subjected to several centuries of the most intense critical scrutiny, and which continues today in the Jesus Seminar and other corrosive endeavors, Mormonism does not allow such activity.
But the real problem with Mormonism is that it's a non-historical religion claiming to be a historical one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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"
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By A Customer on April 9 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just read "Higher Authority" and couldn't put it down. Having lived and worked in Utah for 25 years, surrounded by Mormons, I could identify with all the author said. He obviously did his homework. This book might be hard for a lot of people who have never lived in Utah to believe, but I can vouch for all that he had to say about the workings and practices of the Mormon church. His research was meticulous. It is difficult for me to understand how thinking people can subject themselves to this sort of total mind domination where you must accept and believe, and never question anything about "the" church, its teachings, or its heirarchy. I have a number of good friends who are Mormons and feel sorry for them in that there is no way out except by being scorned and ostracised by their family and other Mormons. They truly believe the rest of us are going to hell and that their religion is the only true religion. Of course you are not a good Mormon if you try to explore the history of their true religion. They consider it as not being "faith promoting". It is common knowledge that the church has a highly secured vault in Utah which houses all defamatory records and writings and is never open to scholars or others who may share its contents. These records are purchased or obtained at all costs and immediately hidden. The paranoia for secrecy is well known. The Mormon religion is cleverly packaged to look very wholesome. On the surface it appeals to many looking for a religion and clean way of life for their children. If you are being sold this Madison Avenue facade and are considering becoming a Mormon I would highly recommend this book. It may open your eyes and your mind. This book is true but I am sure it is banned as reading material for the followers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I originally read this book about four years ago. While I had forgotten much of the mystery plot (not unusual for me), the insights into Mormonism really stuck with me. I reread the book this week (so I could chat with my husband, a first time reader) and came away even more impressed.
Having spent considerable time in Utah, I find the exploration of the LDS church in this book fascinating. I'm a bit of a religious skeptic and probably share some of White's biases. Still, this book strikes me as being carefully researched and jives with what I already knew of the life in Utah. It's a tremendous education about a part of America that is rarely explored in fiction (or elsewhere).
The other outstanding feature of this book is that it focuses on Lauren Crowder, Alan Gregory's girlfriend. As I mentioned in an earlier review, this really is a series that should be read in order (if possible). This is the third book in the series. I admire White's courage in backseating Gregory. Lauren is an interesting character and lends a different (more serious) tone to this book. Still, I can see that this is a bit of a curve ball for what some readers may expect. So -- you're forwarned now - enjoy it.
Oh, yes, the mystery. There is one and it's ok. Actually, it reminds me a bit of some of the earlier Grisham books. It's probably the weakest part of the book but good enough that you won't want to put the book down towards the end.
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