Higher Authority

Higher Authority

4.0 3
by Stephen White

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Dr. Alan Gregory's fianceé, attorney Lauren Crowder, is thrown into a maelstrom of violence as a case of sexual harassment strikes a devastating chord among the nation's most powerful leaders. But this legal time bomb explodes when crucial evidence disappears-and a killer strikes.


Dr. Alan Gregory's fianceé, attorney Lauren Crowder, is thrown into a maelstrom of violence as a case of sexual harassment strikes a devastating chord among the nation's most powerful leaders. But this legal time bomb explodes when crucial evidence disappears-and a killer strikes.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sinister and scary." —The New York Times

"Absorbing...intriguing...a most engaging thriller." —San Diego Union Tribune

White keeps on getting better.
Nelson DeMille
Stephen White writes thrillers of the first order.
Denver Post
White keeps on getting better.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nuanced, vivid characterization-especially of the right-wing fanatics who are the possible conspirators behind the nasty goings-on in White's third novel (Privileged Information; Private Practices)-makes this an engrossing thriller. Lester Horner, the first Mormon to sit on the Supreme Court, is implicated when his law clerk, fellow Mormon Blythe Oaks, is charged with sexual harassment by former employee Teresa Crowder. To help her cause, Teresa enlists the aid of her lawyer sister, Lauren, who persuades an old law school pal, Salt Lake City attorney Robin Toner, to handle the case. After Blythe is found murdered and a private investigator hired by Robin turns up dead, Teresa disappears and Lauren turns to Alan Gregory, her fianc and the hero of White's earlier novels, to help sort matters out. Is the Mormon Church responsible for the murders? The conclusion provides an ambiguous answer, but in the meantime White has portrayed the Church of the Latter Day Saints as an implacable, nearly all-powerful villain. The main plot line is relatively straightforward; it's the ancillary action and the rich characters that enliven this novel: Teresa's habit of disappearing during moments of stress; Lauren's ongoing battle with multiple sclerosis and her relationship with Alan; the secretive and fascinating Mormon church. While some readers may find White's pot shots at Mormonism offensive, even bigoted, there's no doubt that he's cooked up a thriller that will keep most of his large readership happily entertained. 35,000 first printing; paperback rights to Signet; author tour. (Nov.)
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.
Emily Melton
White's latest thriller has comedienne Teresa Crowder filing sexual harassment charges against Blythe Oaks, chief clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lester Horner. The sexual harassment case is an instant headline grabber, especially since Oaks is a woman and a devout member of the Mormon Church. Teresa asks her sister Lauren, a deputy D.A., and Lauren's longtime attorney friend Robin Torr for help in winning the case, but she knows it will be an uphill battle, especially in ultraconservative Utah, where the Mormon patriarchs hold undisputed power. When Blythe Oaks is savagely murdered, Lauren and Robin decide the killer is someone determined to keep the spotless reputation of both the church and Chief Justice Horner intact. But the two women can't begin to fathom how far the killer will go to keep them from uncovering the real truth. There are some weaknesses in the overall flow of the story, and White is surprisingly unreserved in his open criticism of the Mormon Church, but overall the book offers a pleasant mix of suspense and entertainment.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Alan Gregory Series, #3
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.04(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of thirteen previous novels, including The Best Revenge and Missing Persons.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
August 20, 1951
Place of Birth:
Long Island, New York
B.A., UC Berkeley, 1972; M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1975; Ph.D., 1979

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Higher Authority 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Stephen White's books, but didn't get my hands on this one till recently. WOW...not only a great thriller, but White takes a giant step in revealing the truth behind the ugliness of a growing religion, Mormonism, that is truly a secretive, and at the least, odd, CULT. A good read with an in-depth mystery that begs you to check your own beliefs and ideals against what is truly right and wrong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely the best adult scary story I've listened to. I'm glad that it was in October, just in time for Halloween. There are plenty of cliffhangers and plot-twists to keep the suspense without scaring me to death. I also enjoyed learning more about the Mormon Church.