Monday, June 22, 2009

End of Grace ~ by K. Thomas Murphy, 2009

My eyes usually glaze over when I read that a book is a "thriller." That's not my cup of tea. But this one is somewhat different. It definitely was not the "intriguing world of murder and suspense" that drew me to the book, but the fact that it's about the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), better known as Mormons. Though I taught religions of the world at the college level for a decade, I don't know as much about the Mormon church as I would like. So I agreed to review this "thriller."

Title, author, copyright date, and genre?
End of Grace ~ by K. Thomas Murphy, 2009, fiction (okay, thriller)

Summarize the book without giving away the ending.
Publicity material says the book "explores the [Mormon] church's habit of converting millions of deceased souls into Mormonism, and turns the tables when someone starts baptizing Mormons into an alternative church. Initially deemed a nuisance, Mormon leadership reacts with sinister professionalism when it's discovered the baptisms have taken a toll on their tithing revenue stream. ... It forces the reader to wonder if churches have become all too business-like, not at the local level, but certainly at the highest bastions of power." The computer geeks who are behind this are also trying to get the LDS church to pay up to get them to stop these activities.
Were the characters and their problems believable?
The author writes very well, so yes, the characters and situations are believable. And because Murphy is a technology expert by profession, he even made me believe some of the things the characters could do with computer technology.

What do you think will be your lasting impression of this book?
I wonder if the Mormons convert (or baptize?) into their church those who have died, but since this book is fiction, I won't take it as fact unless I learn more from some other source. It's an interesting thought, but I can't think of any reason to be concerned about it. I, too, "wonder if churches have become all too business-like" (see above), but the Mormon church as portrayed in this story was not shown as business-like as much as it was portrayed as predatory and evil. Was the author trying to do with this church what Dan Brown did with the Catholic church?

How would you rate this book?
Rated 8 of 10 because it held my attention and interest.

3 comments:

Kailana said...

I am not big on thrillers, either. Glad you enjoyed this one, though.

kelly said...

If you're curious about the Mormon history of baptisms, simply Google the words Jew, Mormon, and Baptism. For something even more interesting Google the words Obama, Mormon and Baptism.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks, Kelly, that was interesting. Though I still tend to think it's something that I'll ignore, the Jewish rage makes sense to me -- that the LDS "baptism" will confuse genealogical records. I wouldn't be happy in that case, either.