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Latter-Day Cipher

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  96 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
When rebellious Utah socialite Kirsten Young is found murdered in Provo Canyon with strange markings carved into her flesh and a note written in a 19th Century code, questions arise about the old laws of the Mormon Church. Journalist Selonnah Zee is assigned the story, which quickly takes on a life of its own. Even before the first murder is solved, several more victims ap ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Moody Publishers
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Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good mystery. Some great twists and turns. The author writes in a style that paints a very vivid picture of the scenes and actions the characters are taking -- there were any number of times I stopped reading to close my eyes and based on her words could easily visualize what she was describing. I did feel that at least one character dying was a big mistake because this book had/has the makings of a really good series. I'd love to see, I guess a Bobby Ewing moment, for that one character ...more
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
having been a mormon before, i found this book to be very interesting. it gets into the fundamentalist beliefs of joseph smith and brigham young which are not practiced today by the main mormon church, but some of the smaller branch off churches do.
this is a fiction serial killer novel. i highly recommend it if you like mysteries.
Gloria Windholz
May 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
one of the worse written books I have read.
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. It had a surprising ending and held my interest all the way through.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: muddy-water
Although the logic fails towards the end, the murder mystery in this book generally works; crimes, investigation, clues, and conclusion. The introduction of the three men from a particular town in Utah was very cleaver and made me laugh out loud while reading. In reality, the book is simply a vehicle for the author, Latayne C. Scott, to expose her feelings toward Mormonism delineating the reasons for her departure from the religion and this she does very well.
Her convictions towards the Mormon
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense, fiction
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 fee
This is the first fictional approach I've read attempting to describe the historic claims and practices of Mormonism while highlighting the archeological and doctirnal conflicts that modern truth seekers have to wrestle through when approaching that religion. This book drives home the question: What is truth? Is truth absolute? Can truth change (and even reverse positions over time)? While navigating a serial-murder mystery, the author (now Christian, formerly Mormon) illustrates LDS practices, ...more
I read this to learn something about Mormonism and have an interesting read at the same time...and that's what I got. The beginning was quite gory--not a book for children.
I learned several things about Mormonism, both its history and some of their present day beliefs, including:
Proxy baptisms for non-Mormon dead people
God was once a man (sins and all), and man can become as gods
God is not three-in-one, but three separate gods
Many of their beliefs have changed over time and contradicted one anot
I knew very little about Mormonism as a religion when I started the book (although I did grow up relatively close to the Hill Cumorah and saw annual tv ads for the Pageant); I did know about the history from Palmyra to Salt Lake City and beyond. Having read it, I'm not sure that I know that much more. At times the author is explicit about what the symbols and the rituals, vows, promises, oaths, etc. are, while at other times there's still a veil over the topics.

The mystery of who the serial kil
Janet Ursel
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-rounded characters who do not conform to facile stereotypes in this Mormon murder mystery. This delighted me, personally. Selonnah is a good reporter, but you wouldn't think of calling her hard-bitten or driven. Her cousin, Roger, while fitting the stereotypical image of a news anchor (but don't they all?) has a lot of complex undercurrents going on, particularly in the relationship with his wife. The only woman described as beautiful is nonetheless big-boned and convinced of her own lack o ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finished 80 pages, then gave up.

Plot: great hook, interesting opening chapter. We then get a strong Mormons-are-strange theme coming through at the expense of moving the plot forward. It's supposed to be suspense, so should be focusing on the bodies or the code, not the fact that the protagonist's mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
Characters: The guy who found the murder victim had potential. The main character? Not so much. Her LDS cousin? Shallow. He's a TV presenter so that could
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Latayne C. Scott’s prose is engrossing and detailed. Not only does her deep knowledge of Mormon doctrine shine through, but also her studies in representational research add a welcome intellectual element to the story. Selonnah Zee and the killer are authentic, absorbing characters from their first paragraphs.

Scott also avoids the traps of making her story too violent, or too preachy. Not as dark and aggressive as a Ted Dekker novel, nor as light and easy as one of Lori Wick’s stories, Scott ha
I liked the book on a whole, but was disappointed in the ending. I'm told there could be a sequel coming out, which is why the ending kind of fades.

However, It is an excellent book in engaging old Mormon doctrines and for someone to learn something about the religion. LDS today would say they no longer believe many things this book brings up, however, it doesn't negate the fact that the doctrines we taught, and believed, and even practiced at one point in time and by Fundamentalist Mormons toda
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was going to really like this book. The mystery of who was committing the murders, the interaction and the relationship that was building between Selonnah and Luke. A good book was happening. Then suddenly there was no interaction between Luke and Selonnah, we switched to Roger and Anne. OK, so what's going on there? And then we were suddenly away from the murders and were on a religious rant against the Mormon Church. Now I am not Mormon, but I do practice tolerance in all things, s ...more
Vicki Jaeger
Interesting story about Mormons/ Latter Day Saints. It's told from the perspective of both outsiders (also known as "English") and insider point of views. Personally, I just don't get this religion, and this book shed some further insight on their thought process and beliefs. (I still think it feels more like a cult than a religion, just like I said in the 8th grade!) The tone was very emotionally distant the whole time, really because many of these characters were shut off from their emotions. ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Covering all of the main topics and beliefs of the LDS faith through the perspective of a murder mystery that takes place in Utah, the mormon capital of the world. I was a little disappointed that the ending kind of faded but hope that there is a sequel as someone else mentioned. The writing was very good and really draws in the reader.
Not for the faint of heart, however, with detailed and graphic murder scenes as well as describing many "untouchable" mormon beliefs and temple ritual
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a rather amazing book that sets out to cover the faith/mental challenges of Mormonism and Christianity. Without preaching or pedantic lectures, the characters learn about the beliefs and challenges of Mormonism while a series of Mormon-tied murders occur. The book will hold your interest as the story weaves its complexities, and you will definitely learn a few things.

Overall well written and highly recommended.

Latter-Day Cipher had me turning the pages right up to its surprising ending. The author is a former Mormon, and I wondered how much of the pain of her own loss of faith is reflected in the struggles of the various characters. Their sincerity is sympathetically portrayed. She manages to convey both present and historical information about the religion in a way that is highly relevant to the plot and doesnt feel like a text-book.
While I enjoyed the clearly deep background knowledge of the inner workings of the LDS faith, I felt that the end of the novel came unraveled and felt fractured. The mystery was solid, with a definite "keep me reading" feel. The details of the crimes and the secret LDS ceremonies were clearly spelled out and overall, the book was a good read, especially as I understand this is the author's first fiction piece after writing non-ficiton.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book thoroughly disgusted me and fascinated me at the same time. it is brilliantly written and woven religious and crime novel. if you are a fan of either you will like this book. Depicting the early Mormon teachings in a "what would happen in today's society" setting. Factual in its history, a crime story of passion and love, discovery and disillusionment. Latayne C. Scott did well with her first fiction novel.
Aug 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book started off great. Then, it got all bogged down on over the head description of Mormonism. Half way through the book I gave it. Too bad, because it could have been a good book if there had been a lot less preaching. I won't waste any more time on works of this author.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Ugh, this book is horrible. I barely finished it, the writing style was horrible and the characters were flat. The only reason why I kept reading was for the Mormon history and author's point of view about Mormonism.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing in its revelations and ways of plot and character.
May 01, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
sounds like an intriguing mystery!
Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deb by: a friend
This book was very informative regarding the Mormon religion, but I found it difficult to read. Maybe it was just me. I did learn a lot about the fundamentalist Mormon faith though.
Julie Silverman
Awful. If I'd known this was Christian propaganda I wouldn't have bothered! I gave up halfway through.
rated it did not like it
Jan 04, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2012
Very interesting. Learned plenty.
rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2012
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Comment on Latter-Day Cipher 10 13 May 13, 2014 09:17AM  
Author of about two dozen books, most published by major publishers such as Zondervan/Harper Collins, Howard/Simon & Schuster, Moody, Word and others. Over 150,000 copies sold. Now writing, in a patron-based ministry, books published by TSU Press (Albuquerque, NM): Passion, Power, Proxy, Release; Just You, Me and God; The Heart's Door; The Parables of Jesus.

New book to be released September 20
More about Latayne C. Scott...

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