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Joseph Rinaldo

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Member Since: Feb, 2010

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A Mormon Massacre
by Joseph Rinaldo   

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Books by Joseph Rinaldo
· A Spy At Home
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Category: 

Drama

ISBN-10:  1477505911

ISBN-13:  9781477505915

The son of a woman who suffered abuse in a polygamous marriage goes undercover to expose the Mormon Church as a dangerous fraud.

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This modern-day novel is informed by the actual massacre of 150 innocent Americans allegedly by Mormon zealots in the Utah Territory in September of 1857. This reigned as the largest mass slaughter of Americans by Americans until the Oklahoma City bombing, excluding the Civil War. In present-day Nashville, Tennessee, Jeremiah Cameron grows up with a prejudice against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the murders in 1857. Many Camerons died at the hands of Mormon assassins at Mountain Meadows.

Jeremiah’s hatred multiplies when his father, Luke, informs him that his mother suffered abuse at the hands of her Mormon husband after being forced into marriage at twelve years old. Due to his father’s association with the Mormon Victim’s Action Committee, Jeremiah gets an opportunity to go undercover in hopes of exposing Mormons as abusers. With his father’s encouragement and the knowledge of his mother’s horrific experience, Jeremiah accepts M-VAC’s offer to train and insert him into an LDS community.
 
Jeremiah’s objective broadens when he sees more than he expected. Now he wants to expose the entire Church as a violent and dangerous fraud.




Professional Reviews

An inside view of Mormon life
This book reveals parts of the Mormon faith I find shocking. Having traveled through Salt Lake City and found myself in the company of Mormons, many of whom tried to convert me, I was interested in this story, after the author asked me to read and review it. We meet the protagonist, Jeremiah, in the opening scenes, and understand his desire and reasons to bring down the Mormon Church. As someone unfamiliar with the majority of Mormon religion, I'm not sure how much of the book is fact and how much is fiction, and I was pleased to note the author does not use this work to thrust his own religious beliefs or opinions upon the reader.

Overzealous members of the sect show how easily brainwashed other members are. The disturbing abuse of women runs throughout the novel. It's clear from the writing, some of the members lack faith in their Prophet, especially when blood atonement is reintroduced. Jeremiah goes undercover to collect evidence against the Mormon Church and finds himself caught up in the inner circle. I did find this happened a little too quickly and his path to the coveted inner circle seemed too easy. However, the story kept my interest and I wanted to know how Jeremiah would get out of this tricky situation. The author does a good job of building tension between the characters and in the reader.

There are a number of abrupt scene changes, which threw me off for a while. Once I got used to the characters, I was able to follow the breaks more easily without losing my place in the book.

This was an interesting read and a good story.


Spying on the Temple
Because I had previously read and reviewed one of Joseph Rinaldo's novels, "Hazardous Choices," he offered me a kindle copy of this one to read. I was hesitant, not because I didn't think I would enjoy the book, but because I have a lot of friends who are Mormon and I knew that any favorable review of a book called "A Mormon Massacre" would possibly offend my friends. Still, I loved Mr. Rinaldo's writing and I agreed to read it, but did not promise a review.

This book starts with a well researched, historical massacre of everyone but the very youngest children in a large wagon train, at Mountain Meadows, Utah. This happened as the country was entering the turmoil of the civil war era and ended up not being investigated as completely as it might have at another time in history. The fictional novel itself deals with a young man entering a Mormon group as an inserted "spy" in the modern world. There is a connection to the massacre, but the real story is what is happening deep within the highest, most secret groups in the inner temples of modern Salt Lake City and in an empty barn where a secret army demands blood atonement from heretics and unfaithful women.

I loved the intensity of this novel, and the well written story carried me along so that I avoided a few other books I already had started in favor of finding out what would happen next here. I know my Mormon friends would not love this book, but in all honesty, Mr. Rinaldo creates modern Mormons who are realistic and multi-dimensional. He clearly shows the kindness and concern and humanity of most of the members, while also showing the manipulation and insanity in his villain. Of course his villain, a fictional person, happens to be the head of the Mormon Church. His insanity is complete but it progresses along such a natural path that he pulls his followers along that road much farther than they would have ever expected to go.

What I love most about this novel is the characters within it. Each is so complete and well crafted that it becomes hard to believe they are fictional characters. I had to care about them, and love them or hate them. There was no way to put down this book and stop reading once I had entered its pages.


In God We... Trust?
This is a novel based on a true historical event, the Mountain Meadow massacre, a polarizing event that directly & indirectly shapes the life of the protagonist.

If you're looking for a politically correct novel, don't buy this one. It brings out the best and worst in everyone and shows how we shape our reality based on our beliefs.

The book keeps multiple plots and subplots going at once, but it is never confusing. There is always so much going on at high intensity that I had a hard time putting the book down.

5 Stars is for the plot, readability and intensity level. It would make a great movie.


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