Saturday, October 12, 2013

Book Review: False Prophet

Satire (noun): the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose or criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Sometimes the truth can be strangest of all.  In her book "False Prophet," author Donna Banta once again draws on her skills as a satirist to expose the weird, sometimes odd, almost always heart-breaking realities of being a Mormon.  In “The Girls From Fourth Ward,” the story was about how far Mormon girls would go to get into BYU.  In “False Prophet,” the story centers around Ryan and the very sweet but over-worked Carrie Zimmerman, who finds herself repeating the refrain “I love being a Mormon,” in order to cope with the exhausting and mind-numbing realities of being the bishop’s wife.           
          “False Prophet,” picks up again with Lieutenant Matt Ryan, who is burnt-out and disillusioned from his last run-in with the Mormons, who had foiled his investigation at every turn, ultimately leaving the murder unsolved.  When he discovers another murdered man clutching a blue and gold embossed Book of Mormon, his reaction is, quite simply, to close his eyes and whisper “Jesus Christ.  Not again.”
 This time, the murder victim, Brother Sid Dooley, was a lonely widower who embraced Mormonism with zeal after the death of his wife and only daughter.  Brother Dooley is the eccentric character that is found in every Mormon congregation (ward), a lonely man who walks around claiming to see angels and talk with God.  When he turns up murdered, having ranted about a false prophet shortly before his death, the only suspect that the police can come up with is Bishop Zimmerman, who had spoken to Dooley shortly before his death and was the one to discover his body. 
The story is a real who-dunit, an adventure that keeps you guessing at every turn.  There is the familiar cast of characters from the first book, with an increased focus on the sweet but exhausted bishop’s wife Carrie Zimmerman, who is nine months pregnant and stressed about balancing her family’s meager finances with her ever-increasing frustration over her narrowing life.  “I love being a Mormon,” she whispers at every turn, while the realities of having a husband falsely arrested for murder pushes her to make choices that aren’t quite Mormon in nature. 



  1. I enjoyed reading this book. It made me smile from start to finish.

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