Higher Authority Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1996
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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"
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Time and place is the pace of this novel. Mormons, Utah (with a little New Mexico thrown in), and a killer is the main thrust of this story with a few women and a handful of men... Read morePublished on June 15 2003 by Brady Buchanan
This book was dreadful... I read about half of it and scanned the rest. Author Stephen White is amazing and he deserves at least one bad book. This was it, for me. Read morePublished on Dec 6 2002 by Geonn W. Cannon
Stephen White is a good suspense writer. However, I find in this case White did do his homework, but reading the book I found it to be way too much about Mormons and not enough... Read morePublished on June 19 2002
This Stephen White entry is a good suspenseful mystery set in Utah. If you are Mormon or find a calling to higher religious authority you will be offended. Read morePublished on May 26 2002 by Elias Chapelle
Having just left Utah after 4 years I was intrigued when I picked up this book. I felt the isolation portrayed by non mormons living there is accurately portrayed. Read morePublished on July 20 2001
At first I thought the Mormon bashing was sort of funny, then it got old. Real old. I've lived in "small town" Utah for 37 years and I've never heard myself or anyone... Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2001 by Flyfisher
Having a sister who is Mormon, I read "Higher Authority" with interest and expectation. I had never read any other of White's books so Lauren Crowder was new to me. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2001
First, let me say that I am a big fan of White's books. Cold Case, with the exception of being a little overdone at the end, was one of the best mystery/thrillers I have read. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2000