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Higher Authority Paperback – 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451185110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451185112
  • ASIN: B007CIPJHM
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of suspense novels, including Dead Time and The Siege. He lives in Colorado.

Customer Reviews

I'm not a Mormon, and have no real opinion of their religion either way.
crane1111
Recently I realized that somehow I'd missed reading this book in the Alan Gregory mystery series.
eyeski
Read it as just a darn good read with a plot that will keep the pages turning.
Barbara McArthur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 62 people found the following review helpful By P. Connors on December 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some of the Mormons who wrote reviews here are defending what can't be defended. Stephen White wrote a novel but he did research before he did and what he found was obviously not to the liking of the LDS Church or some of its more devout (and misinformed adherents). What White tried to do with "Higher Authority" (and I think he was very successful) was set a murder mystery against the backdrop of the workings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What Mormon readers of this book need to do is get honest; they also need to read up on their church's history and when they do, the real theology should come through. Alan Gregory is not the main character here, Lauren Crowder is. It is what she investigates and finds that makes for the backdrop of the story. What many non-Mormon readers don't realize is what exactly LDS members believe. White gives us a primer but he doesn't cover it all. If most people knew just exactly what Mormons believe, they would never, ever become adherents. Read this book because it's a good story. After you do, go to a Christian bookstore to the section on "cults" and buy any of the books on MORMONS. Read with an open mind and when you do, you'll find that Mormons aren't Christians at all. They mean well and Stephen White points that out in his novel. But it's the negative exposure that has the Mormons trying to explain away the inconsistencies and outright falsehoods that are part of their false doctrine. Stephen White lives in a part of the country where Mormons are numerous and influential. His riting is all the more courageous because of that. There are documented cases of people making death threats to people who write and say negative things about the LDS Church. I have spoken to non-Mormon friends from Utah and they HAVE told me that UTAH is as close to a theocracy as one gets in the good old USA. Read "Higher Authority" and get an idea why.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on September 20, 2002
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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Quentin Wills, Ph.D. on December 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fine thriller set against the backdrop of the politics and machinations of the Morman Church. While not great writing, strong characters and mysteriousness of the unusual setting succeed in making this story above average. Wish Dr. Gregory had played a larger part, but at least this book sent me to the library to learn more about Mormonism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julia Walker VINE VOICE on June 18, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Alan Gregory is a durable hero. He's been shot, stabbed, pushed off of cliffs, almost pushed off of cliffs, stalked, variously assaulted, and attacked by at least one wild animal. And yet he remains a mensch - tiresomely physically fit and over-addicted to healthy living, perhaps, but still a mensch. He admires his wife, cherishes his friends, and generally respects his patients. He loves his dogs, present and past. The supporting cast is equally attractive/compelling: Lauren Crowder's independent intelligence and relentless bravery, Sam Purdy's common sense and generosity, Adrienne Arvin's dementedly charming chutzpah, Diane and Raoul's wit and whimsy, all serve to anchor the series. And the presence of Grace in the later novels promises to develop into a great child character, possibly rivaling Lucy Karp in the early Gruber-authored Tanenbaums. The incidental characters are vivid and generally believable, almost without exception. Some authors are better at male characters than female, or the reverse, but White is excellent at people, all people. Most of the books are first-person narration by Gregory, but White can shift to third-person with aplomb.

Aside from the great characters, the plots of this series are outstanding. We learn about a private end-of-life corporation, cold-case volunteer groups, the Mormons, DB Cooper, the cult of personality, Grand Canyon adventures, and the fallout from the JonBenet case, all without stretching the seams of the community based in Boulder, CO. When the plots call for suspense, the books are literally terrifying, real white-knuckle reads. White is witty and insightful and the very best craftsperson of the English language I've read in years.
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