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In Higher Authority White shifts his focus from Dr. Alan Gregory, the hero of Privileged Information and the national best seller Private Practices, to Alan's fiancée, Lauren Crowder. The pool-shooting deputy D.A.'s life is already complicated enough as she picks her way through her relationship with Alan at the same time she is fighting her quiet and dignified battle with multiple sclerosis. But since Blythe's accuser happens to be Lauren's kid sister, aspiring stand-up comic Teresa Crowder, Lauren plunges into the case. And she gets immediate help from an old law school buddy, Robin Torr, whose practice is in Salt Lake City.
When, suddenly, Blythe Oaks is savagely murdered in Washington, D.C., the lengths to which someone will go to protect secrets that might prove embarrassing to higher authorities in the church are starkly revealed. And as Crowder and Torr probe more and more deeply into these secrets, with timely help from Alan Gregory and his old friend Detective Sam Purdy of the Boulder, Colorado, police, White's tough but determined women find the body count growing and themselves placed in jeopardy by a remorseless killer.
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By Me & My Girls on 06-01-14
Killing in God's Name
Alan's wife Lauren has a younger sister Teresa who's working with the Utah women's symposium. She comes to her lawyer sister with a small issue; it seems that the female LDS top assistant to the first LDS Member of the Supreme Court groped her in a woman's bathroom. With Lauren's aid Teresa finds a lawyer and then pretty much disappears for the rest of the book as she chases her new career as a stand-up comic. It seems that she's perfectly willing to continue the case as long as others do all the heavy lifting required.
Those doing that lifting are her lawyer who loses her marriage by taking the case. Her sister Lauren who comes very close to losing her life for pushing the case. Alan and Sam who mainly lose time but are placed in danger several times as they pursue the case. Not to mention the four individuals who lose their lives to a overly religious madman kills to hide facts and events that would be embarrassing to the Mormon church if they came to life.
Speaking of which; if you're at all sympathetic to the religion you might want to avoid this book. Yes it relates a great deal of information about the church, the state of Utah, and the Mormon culture from the sixties up to the nineties. Not a whole lot of it positive though. The book touches on two of the subjects the church is the most intractably conservative about; homosexuality and abortion.
This isn't the best or worst book of the Alan Gregory series. One of the major problems with the series is with the exception of Sam Purdy none of the protagonists in this series in general and this work in particular are at all sympathetic.
Teresa Crowder gets stubborn about continuing the case; then disappears leaving all the work to others and putting in motion a situation in which four people end up dead after she sees the lawyer.
I see Lauren Crowder as the Rocky Mountain version of Susan Silverman.
Alan is a whiny pain in the ass who follows Lauren around like a puppy for no reason that the author has ever made clear. Were it not for the combination of psychology and criminal justice, well conceived criminal plots and some finely drawn minor characters the series would be in the must avoid category. As it is if you don't need to feel a strong alliance with the principle characters in a story; then I can recommend both the book and the series.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Richard Anthony on 01-07-17
That's enough for me.
Would you try another book from Stephen White and/or Dick Hill?
Dick Hill is the reason I listened to this one after the first two, he is the best. I won't be listening to any more of this series though, if that's any part of reality in that part of the country it explains a lot about what's happened there in recent years. Leg shaving men, lesbians everywhere and almost everyone in therapy...........can't be that bad but I'm done listening anyway.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
The characterization of the Mormon religion, don't know how much of that was based on fact, if any, but it painted a pretty grim picture.
Which character – as performed by Dick Hill – was your favorite?
Sam Purdy, the only regular person in the whole story.
Do you think Higher Authority needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
Not for me.
Any additional comments?
I'd love to know how Dick Hill does reads like this one. It seems almost impossible that he can be doing all those voices but I see no note to the contrary.