Summarized by Kent Larsen
New Thriller Covers 'Bloody Secrets Of Mormon History'
Publishers Weekly pg71 22May00 A4
By Sybil S Steinberg
John Gates. Walker, $23.95 (204)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- A new thriller by novelist John Gates has a
Mormon setting and uses Mormon characters and history. But Publishers
Weekly says that the book is 'formulaic' and uses 'stock characters
and creaky plotting,' which undermine the novel.
The plot as described by Publishers Weekly shows a limited knowledge
of Mormonism. Attorney Brigham Bybee is a divorced, recovering
alcoholic who's career was ruined after he filed suit against a 'high
Mormon church official.' Ruined, he agrees to help another attorney
defend a murder case in Kanab, where he discovers that a 'secret
Mormon police force' committed the murder to cover up an old document
concerning the Mountain Meadows Massacre that might embarrass the
Publishers Weekly's review wasn't all negative. It did say that Gates
"keeps his story moving briskly and garnishes his tale with
well-chosen local details and enough Mormon history and lore to
awaken the reader's interest in the alternate culture that thrives in
It also reports that the book, which is released next month, will be
an alternate for the Quality Paperback Book Club.