Book Review: Latter-Day Cipher

June 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Book and Movie Reviews

Written by LaTayne C. Scott
Reviewed by Lynn Squire

“A religion is exemplified by its people. But it is defined by its God.”

A string of bizarre murders in Salt Lake City point the finger at the Mormon Church. Journalist Selonnah Zee struggles to decipher not only the unusual code found in the notes left with the victims but the complicated symbols and nuances of the Mormon religion as well. As she uncovers secrets and wades through lies, she wonders if the murderer is a fundamental Mormon or a person questioning the religion.

Selonnah’s cousin Roger becomes the spokesman for the Church of the Latter Day Saints during the media hype surrounding the homicides. Meanwhile, his wife begins to doubt her faith. Her childhood religion seemed to define God as ever changing. With their faiths diverging, will their marriage survive?

In a suspenseful drama, Latayne C. Scott, a former Mormon, reveals the fallible doctrines of the Latter Day Saints and points to the hope found in the Jesus Christ of the Bible. While a good story by itself, this novel provides much to ponder. As I read, I wondered how the world views Christianity and its various doctrinal differences. As the Emerging Church (a twentieth-century liberal movement within Christianity) pushes forward for unity and an abandonment of a literal interpretation of Scripture, are some churches today presenting a god that changes (as has the LDS church), thus bringing the Almighty to the same level of man? As I read, my spirit was disturbed, not by the story itself, but by how much it reflects Christianity today. I’m not sure Latayne meant for this when she wrote it, but the novel challenged me to make sure I present God as He presents Himself in the Bible.

Lynn Squire is a believer, a wife, a mom and a writer. Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful is a featured book in The Great Escape 2009. Learn more about her at

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