I enjoyed reading Latayne Scotts book. Mystery, murder and conflicting motives drive Latter-day Cipher from from the first page to the last. The culture of Mormonism and its beliefs are examined and exposed through the experiences of the characters; Shelonnah Zee - the Gentile reporter who is on a working vacation to do a story for her paper, Roger Zee Selonnahs brother who converted to Mormonism; Luke Taylor a police officer and a life long Mormonand others. All are drawn into a series of shocking murders and pranks that are tied to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I've spent my whole life living in Utah and know a bit about Mormon culture and wasn't sure I'd love this book. Suprise, suprise. The mystery was grand, but what pulled me in and kept me was the facinating information about the secrets of LDS life woven through. The respected it paid to those that believe or don't in the LDS doctrine was fantastic. Bravo!
"Latter-Day Cipher" is a well-written, intriguing mystery/suspense novel. The world-building details about Utah, Mormon culture, and the character's jobs were all excellent and brought the world alive in my mind.The author used a lot of figurative language. It was well-done, though I was occasionally confused about what was being described until the end of the description. I also found that the frequent use of figurative language (mainly used in Selonnah's point-of-view) gave a dreamy, distant feel to her character--which fit but also sometimes diluted the tension in her scenes. (Thus, I considered this a mystery novel until the suspense built in last third of the novel.)The pacing was excellent, and the tension built when Selonnah began to suspect who the murder was. The varied, complex characters dealt with realistic struggles which I sympathized with. One character's fate at the end could have been made clearer (though my questions disappeared the more I thought about it), but the author does clearly indicate the future courses of the main characters.Information about Mormon beliefs as well as bits about Hispanic Catholic culture, Protestant Christianity, and even Islam were woven skillfully into the story as information necessary to deciphering the clues left by the murderer. Events were seen through the eyes of an atheist, Selonnah, and several Mormon characters. The Mormon side of things was handled in a sympathetic manner.I don't recall any bad language, and there was no sex. The murder scene was graphic (how the body was laid out and what done to it), but I didn't really find it gory. Overall, I'd highly recommend this "good, clean read" to anyone interested in learning more about Mormon beliefs or who enjoys an interesting mystery.
Latayne Scott's Latter-Day Cipher mixes a riveting fictional story with Mormon historical/theological data. Having previously spent much of her life in the Mormon Church, her insights & compassion for the Mormon Church make this a refreshing look at the practices of Mormonism set within a story depicting people at different points in their walk with the Mormon Church.The story starts off quickly & reminded me of the hooks David Baldacci pierces me with in the opening pages of his writing. Latayne tells the story of a reporter's vacation to Utah infringed upon by both her boss' taskings & criminal acts being committed around her. As the story progresses, you learn a lot about the characters in the book. Latayne superbly immerses the reader in the world of Selonnah, a reporter torn by her duty to her job, her love for her family, & problems occurring back in her Tennessee hometown. The plot thickens with a complex woven serial-killer's acts interspersed throughout the book as the reader learns more about each of the characters, the town & the Mormon Church. Just when you think you have the story solved, a twist occurs, causing the reader to cast away any previously-held theories of 'who-done-it.'I have read much about the Mormon Church. Latayne does one thing most writers critiquing Mormonism forget - she speaks w/ great compassion. This book contains no Mormon-bashing & is an informative look at Mormonism from a former insider. The reader sees many personal conflicts Mormons face with their faith such as when one family member deals with serious doubt, the draw of fundamentalist Mormonism, & emotions surrounding members defending the Mormon Church. These theological points arise as part of the story intermingled in the plot rather than being asides in the book. Since the main character Selonnah has little background in the Mormon faith, both she & the reader learn about Mormonism together.This is one of those books you simply cannot put down.
Latter-Day Cipher is a compelling suspense novel, from its eerily beautiful opening to a final page that lingers long after you've closed the cover. This is a finely-crafted story from a gifted, award-winning author whose prose is anything but typical to the genre. Like Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, Latter-Day Cipher traces a series of crimes steeped in Mormon tradition. Scott, renowned for her non-fiction The Mormon Mirage, now in its 3rd edition, uses her inside knowledge of Mormon doctrine to plot Cipher's crime spree, giving the reader a rare glimpse into the faith Scott embraced for 10 years. Now a devout Christian, Latayne, who still has a deep empathy for the Mormon people, speaks at seminars around the country on why she left the church she loved.