Mystery of Matthew Alcott Reviews

"Before delving into J.M. Oborn’s The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott, readers will want to take a deep breath, because from the first scene, when Matthew Alcott wakes up naked in the Nevada desert, up to the last word he pens in the controversial book he has written about Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith, the tension never lessens, the suspense builds steadily, and the plot and characters prove to be convincingly unpredictable . I should insert a caveat here about adult situations and language.

That said, Oborn’s story reaches from the granite vaults in Utah’s Cottonwood Canyon, the storage facility for valuable LDS (Mormon) historical documents, to an unlikely establishment (The One Hump Bar) in Resurrection Corner, New York, which serves up alcohol, coffee, and AA meetings. Several years earlier Matt, an employee of the LDS historical department, discovers a hidden document which presents Joseph Smith in an unflattering light. Life goes downhill from there, and Matt finds himself divorced, drunk, unemployed, and on the run, pursued by minions of church leaders and a powerful, wealthy far-reaching group determined to quiet him at any cost.

Interestingly, Oborn’s LDS characters have few, if any redeeming qualities. His villain, Farley Rockwell, is chillingly convincing. The other characters populating this novel are well-drawn and believably human---people we’d all want on our team.

Throughout the story runs the theme of redemption, at the deeply honest, personal level required for sobriety and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Oborn’s writing style is lean and truncated and he makes effective use of flashbacks. He breaks accepted rules about point of view and complete sentences, but his confident style is very effective and doesn’t fail to stop us in our tracks with the hero’s insightful thoughts, as well as the occasional stunning description. From the exploits of “The Twelve Apostles,” (a Harley-driving gang of recovering alcoholics), to a den of lethal snakes, from closeted polygamists to compassionate nuns, this compelling mystery-thriller never disappoints. Hang on to your Harley---J. M. Oborn’s The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott is a compelling, well-written work of fiction."

Janet Kay Jensen, author, March 2014


"A very entertaining read" 

- Unknown

"H.Matthew Alcott, a boozing Las Vegas journalist, finds himself naked in the desert, not knowing how he got there, but he knows why: he had uncovered a secret Joseph Smith revelation that could severely compromise the Mormon religion. To write his book, he takes on a new identity and disappears...and finds love in Cate and unexpected friends in a small New York town. Finishing his book, Matt is offered two million dollars--provided he hands over the manuscript and all research notes. Refusing the offer, Cate is kidnapped, and he is given the usual ultimatum."

By Stefan Vucak October 8, 2013 (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott:


"With `The Complete mystery of Matthew Alcott', Michael Oborn takes the reader into the shadowy world of an alcoholic, a tortured personality, and with the help of those around him, redemption. This is a well written novel, even though it diverges from the normal writing style. In Matthew, Oborn has created a complex and real character, and following the changes in his personality is a revelation. The short flashback sequences are somewhat disconcerting and disrupt the flow of the book, but in the end, everything is resolved. Readers will find this novel well worth the effort.

This is an intriguing, suspenseful story. The author does a great job of bringing you right into the thick of the plot. From the first page you are engaged in the story and do not want to put it down. The author does a great job of taking us inside the Mormon church and seeing what the power brokers will do to stop any bad press from coming out about their church. This was so well written I wondered if the author had true to life experiences himself in the Mormon church. This story which focused on the inside power brokers of the Mormon church reminded me of Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code. This is a great read!"

Jerry Zehr
D. Lawson, 5/22/13


"The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott is a compelling story involving intrigue in the inner workings of the Mormon church. Oborn has created a plot infused with suspense and mystery. It even has a bit of romance and healthy dashes of wry humor. Oborn’s protagonist and supporting characters are believable and well-developed. The author’s knowledge of the Mormon religion and substance abuse recovery is evident in his writing.

Liberal use of fragmented sentences made the narration seem choppy to me at times. Still, I was drawn into the story of Matthew and was led to sympathize with the character’s drive to write and then publish his book about the Mormon church despite the dangers he faced. I liked the pace of the story, and the action kept me reading."

Explorer (Seattle, WA United States)


"This story grabbed me right from the beginning and didn't let go. I had to put it down partway through to finish a book club selection, but Matthew Alcott and his predicament kept nagging at the back of my mind until I picked it up again. Matthew is a gritty, likable, and utterly believable character, and one of my favorites in recent memory. I have some experience with fundamentalist religion, and I know the zeal with which fundamentalist leaders guard their version of "the truth" and attack those who might undermine it. So I suppose I harbor a special sympathy and admiration for Matthew - and the author - but even aside from these considerations, the story pulled me through by virtue of its intriguing mystery, attention to detail, and powerful, yet earthy characters. Highly recommend."


"Mike,

I just finished your book today and I enjoyed every page of it.  It's a well paced thriller that kept me wanting to turn to the next page to see what was going to happen next. I have sent my recommendation to the rest of the board members to have your book added to our Mormon Oriented Fiction of the website's bookstore. Thanks ever so much for gifting your book to me.  Mysteries and thillers are my favorite. This was a perfect fit."

Miki, Director. Board of Directors. postmormon.com  3/20/13

"Anyone who has ever felt abandoned or alienated from family and friends can relate to this protagonists adventure. It's a pretty good mystery with thought provoking moral and ethical themes throughout. All in all, a pretty good read."

"Action-packed Contemporary Tale with Mormon Intrigue"

February 4, 2013

"Oborn writes like some of the best contemporary writers—articles are often missing from his sentences. At times one word is enough to convey the message. But the style works, and for me, did not detract.

The opening scenes immediately draw the reader into the story and Oborn keeps the action going. With the exception of a few short scenes where the important characters are introduced, this fast-paced caper does not disappoint. His scene description often takes just one or two sentences. He describes a modest living space Alcott occupies early in the book: "The floor slanted to port if you were headed to the john and starboard if you were looking for the Cocoa Puffs." Brilliant!

Matthew Alcott is a sympathetically flawed protagonist. The Mormon Church, from it founding prophet, to a select cast of its current adherents: Matt's selfish ex-wife, wealthy father-in-law, lawyer/brother and a pathetic single man, are the antagonists. A touching, but unexpected love story threads throughout the main plot. In this book within a book, the author also incorporates an interesting hypothesis about Joseph Smith's psyche. This is an excellent and unique work of fiction with some beautiful philosophical undertones."

Kay Burningham, Author


"I am a student at Bellevue high school. The only thing I usually read are my assignments, but as you are a neighbor I read your book. I didn't know it could be so fun, Matthew Alcott turned down 2 million dollars for his manuscript so that it would not be printed. I would not have done that. I recommend this book to others."

Bellevue High School Student 1/26/13

"Action Packed!"

Quiltster - January 20, 2013

"A. truly unique approach, fresh insights and startling creativity. Michael Oborn's approach is genuinely unique, especially when contrasted with the awful tediousness of antiMormon novels. It's good to see a straight foreward thriller developed with a Mormon backdrop. Good job michael."

Kathleen Waters

"This book reminded me of such works as "Angels and Demons", and "National Treasure". I could easily see this novel made into a motion picture or mini-series and I would be the first in line to attend. I love a good conspiracy theory and Michael Oborn does not disappoint. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves a good mystery, conspiracy theory, or religious controversy."

Rita V. for Readers Favorite

"Matt Alcott by Michael Oborn is a gritty and breathless read. Matt would be all right if he could just keep off the booze. It’s already cost him his job as a journalist and his marriage, and now it might cost him his life. Someone is after the historical documents he stole when he worked as a historian for the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City. The information he has is devastating. Matt needs to stay sobre to keep his wits about him to firstly survive and secondly to write his revelatory book. He flees to, of all places, Resurrection Corner. In the One Hump Bar he meets James J, the barkeep who is a reformed alcoholic and encourages Matt to turn his life round. Cate is another incentive for doing so. Slowly his damning book is written as Matt gets a grip on himself.  But powerful, persistent people don’t want it published and Matt’s isn’t the only life in danger any more.

Oborn’s style is quirky, inventive and addictive. It’s almost stream of consciousness, at times almost minimalist, sometimes absurdist, but it’s the perfect vehicle for this novel and proves an efficient way of presenting the characters and the tangling strands of plot that carry us with them. Short sentences, short paragraphs, short chapters that jump from past to present as the action unfolds. The author doesn’t waste a word. There is a wide range of characters and emotions. There is the darkness of despair, spite and betrayal but also courage, loyalty, trust and love. This is an incredibly powerful, gripping novel."

Stephanie D. for Readers Favorite

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for reviewing purpose. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

"I do encourage readers interested in some aspects of the Mormon Church to check out The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: Heritage of Secrets. I think you will find it fascinating."

Irene Watson, July 15, 2012. blogcritics.org

"(Matthew)is being chased by Mormons.  I love it.

Matthew Alcott is an excommunicated Mormon--kicked out of the church because he dared to question.  While working in the historical archives, Matthew comes across documents showing that Joseph Smith was the first playboy--obsessed with collecting wives and tampering down the rights of women within his religion.  When he publishes his book, he finds that he is not just hated--his life is in danger by some of the richest and most powerful men in the country.

I really enjoyed the premise behind this book--it was fun and the potential was very high for a non-stop, high adrenaline thriller.  The story is fascinating, looking at the archives and the Mormon church's (fictionalized or not) view on women and their rights.  However, there were many times when reading this book that I was highly confused about where action was coming from.  All of the sudden we would be in a new location or things would be happening that didn't connect to previous action, and I had to look past this in order to focus on the core of the story.

The subject matter is fascinating and the characters are so interesting.  In fact, I ended up having a dream that I was writing the book and the Mormon upper echelon was after me which then made me threaten to sell my cats to the Mormons.  So obviously this book affected me and caught my interest."

Posted June 21, 2012 at 7:44 AM
Nicole
Sassy Peach Book Blogger

"J M Oborn is well-versed in the history of the Mormon Church. I was so engaged in this book that I could not, and did not, put it down. It was so interesting to learn about this intriguing religion. I love the way Oborn’s character is portrayed as a strong man who is able to handle an enduring romance in the midst of all the turmoil he faces. I believe this novel is on its way to becoming a best seller!"

Lorraine Carey for Readers Favorite

"I started this book in paper back and had to buy it on kindle so that I had it handy when I had spare minutes to fill.

This book is a rollercoaster of good emotions and struggles one goes through. I was pulled into the story, to where I felt like I was pulling up a bar stool at the bar or fly on the wall.

This is a excellent read for the non-reader or the avid.

Great book !"

“The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott” is an exceptionally well-written novel with first-rate characterizations. The story's plot proceeds with incredible suspense to its last pages, and readers will be totally absorbed in Matt's story. It is a fabulous read even though the storyline might offend Mormon Church members."

Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite

"Mike Oborn always writes from somewhere deep within himself, with the result being a body of work that is very much like its creator; honest and frank, witty and wry, full of heart and hope. He doesn't pull any punches or spoon feed you anything; he says what he has to say and treats his readers as intelligent beings capable of drawing their own conclusions. A remarkable man and writer; I enjoy having a window through which to see the unique way he looks at the world." 

Angie B.

"Michael presents us with a clever and entertaining message about life. To the Mormon, it causes one to reflect on the basic tenets and assumptions that give meaning to one's religous life. To the non-Mormon, it provides enlightenment on the cultural more's of the religous life. To the objectivist, it provides an arena of life's experiences so one can reflect on human values that really give meaning to one's life."

Brent Bingham

"I was constantly looking over my shoulder, worried that a religious group might be after me for reading this wonderful book! I'm also worried about Mike Oborn. Has anyone seen him lately? Oborn takes us on a journey with Matthew Alcott, a former historian for the Mormon church, as he presents his findings about the "real" Joseph Smith. His attempts to publish his research sends a red alert to the highest ranks within the church and on more than one occasion, the excommunicated Mormon finds himself in precarious situations. Not to mention the senseless ringing of a Minnie Mouse telephone. Though it is sometimes difficult to follow the narrative, Oborn writes with cleverness and humor and his story is wildly entertaining. Let's just hope the Mormons never find out about it."

Seattle Guy

"5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and breathless read"

April 16, 2013
S. J. Dagg (France)

"The synopsis of The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: Heritage of Secrets by Michael Oborn drew my attention so I accepted the book to review. I was interested in how a book written in the thriller genre could answer “Was Joseph Smith the Hugh Hefner of the early 1800s?” and was soon to find out.

The beginning of the plot finds Matthew Alcott in the desert, naked and beaten. He makes his way to a small New York town, Resurrection Corner, and settles in find solace in a 12-step meeting for alcoholics. Alcott writes a book, gleaned from information gathered while he was a historian for the Mormon Church, which exposes Joseph Smith and revelations that were hidden by the church. The hierarchy of the church finds out about the manuscript and uses unscrupulous ways to prevent its publication.

That is the premise and the mainstay of the plot, but there is another side to the story and that is the struggles of an alcoholic and how the disease influences life. There was a complete sub-culture that readers, especially men in recovery, would relate to and get pulled into the story.

Personally, I found the exposed information on the Mormon Church interesting. Being this is a fiction book, I’m not sure how much of the information is embellished, but I would assume the basis is true. The power of the church and those running it are viewed as being corrupt with political and cultural clout.

The second half of the book became more urgent than the first half, and the writing style changed to give the plot more flow and begged interest to move forward. I enjoyed reading the second half because the writing was more grounded.

I believe Michael Oborn has a gift of writing and could have his work developed into thrillers worth mentioning. His dedication to research the topic is noted and his knowledge of alcohol dependency and addiction certainly comes through in his writing. Although fiction, I do encourage readers interested in some aspects of the Mormon Church to check out The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: Heritage of Secrets.  I think you will find it fascinating."

Irene Watson
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"A quilter friend told me about a book she enjoyed reading, "The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott." We both enjoy suspense stories. I downloaded it on my Kindle to read. I wondered, "Who the is Matthew Alcott?". The book starts out with plenty of action when a historical researcher uncovers 'the truth.' There are many who would like to keep the secret, but Matthew risks it ALL to publish his findings... I loved it. If the author ever comes to a bookstore in the Seattle area, I would buy a copy and have him autograph it for me."

The Quiltster

"This somewhat fact-based, action packed fiction, is suitable for any 'thriller' reader - and you do not have to be Mormon or ex-Mormon to understand or enjoy it. Other reviews have already explained the storyline, and I don't like to write 'spoilers', so I will in the main concentrate instead on the actual 'read'.

One reviewer commented that they did not like the clipped sentence style but I found it dramatic and compelling. One or two other authors are renowned for it but it must be difficult to make it work as the style is rare. Mike Oborn has no such problem and I found it refreshing, quite appropriate for the story, and absolutely delightful to read. For me it added a quality to the work which is somewhat unique and I found it very enjoyable.

The book contains a book within a book, a story within a story, as our hero tries to publish a book which his Church would rather did not see the light of day. Another review describes the work as being similar to 'Angels and Demons'; something I very much doubted - until I read it. Turns out that it is that good and it would make a very powerful movie. I simply could not put it down - all the time captured by where we were and wondering what happens next - just the way a good thriller should be.

I know the author suffered at the hands of the Mormon Church and left the fold several decades ago and it has taken this long for him to find a way of putting the past behind him - he finally found it in the form of writing. This I can thoroughly empathise with as I am a fellow ex-Mormon. I resigned membership and wrote my own way (non-fiction) through the trauma that follows such action, with the loss of friends and family who reject you as an apostate. Unconditional love is preached, but not practiced with someone who discovers that Mormonism is a provably hoax religion in which the conspiracy to deceive modern day members and investigators is alive and well. Only those who have experienced discovery of the truth and subsequent rejection could ever empathise with what Mike Oborn has been through in real life.

The main storyline is current, but to clarify and update background as we go along, the author constantly takes us momentarily back in time to several points, from the early 1800s and Joseph Smith's depravity, to Matt's (our lead character's) earlier life and to what was happening a few years previously, to him and also to other characters in the book. This again is criticised in another review, but I thought that was harsh as it is not an unusual style of writing and I was very happy with the way this not only helps the reader understand appropriate background right at the point where such understanding is required, but I was also impressed by the way the author cleverly integrated such departure each time in a succinct and meaningful way - always tying in such links clearly and professionally, and quickly - back to the present.

 I for one was never confused, never lost - and always on the edge of my seat with anticipation. It was a very satisfying way of bringing essential background into the story. I didn't have to try to remember anything important for later in the book - it was brought in at exactly the right point in a 'short and sweet' manner. The fact that there is indeed quite a lot of such departure was clearly a deliberate style adopted by the author in order to enable the reader to understand everything in context and it worked very well; it enhanced and explained - but never detracted. All the threads were carefully and expertly brought together in a very satisfying manner.

In short, I cannot say enough about this work. Whilst writing it was an outlet for the author's grief at the loss of so much - the outcome, regardless of what is ultimately true and what is fiction - is a masterpiece of writing and will be enjoyed by anyone who loves a good thriller. The Mormon aspect in this work detracts no more than the Catholic aspect in Angels and Demons - it is a natural integral part of the plot which is as easy to understand for someone who has no idea what the Mormon Church believes as for someone who does. All I can say in conclusion is - just get the book and enjoy the ride - you won't be disappointed."

Jim Whitefield— Author of 'The Mormon Delusion' Series.

"Dilemma, connection and mayhem American style."

Unknown
December 22, 2012

"The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott" by Michael Oborn is a novel about a young researcher/reporter determined to expose the crimes, cruelties, and complicities of the Mormon Church. Of course that could describe at least half a dozen books published in the last few years, not to mention Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet" written in 1889. So--the mystery instead might seem to be: why another?

There is an answer to that. Michael Oborn believes that there is a common thread in the human dilemma in all cultures, and that it is in stories that we are all connected. There is dilemma aplenty in "The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott," but there is connection as well and, on top of that, it is one heck of a good story.

Matt Alcott does not start drinking until well into his twenties but he makes up for that in a hurry. A young Mormon in relatively good standing in Salt Lake City, his world falls apart as he delves deeper and deeper into the life of Joseph Smith and unearths certain documents that the Church of Latter-Day Saints might find embarrassing. With nothing to live for--and a few folks going to considerable effort to shorten what life he has--he heads out cross country. Turning left off an upstate New York highway, he settles himself on a bar stool in The One Hump Bar in the town of Resurrection Corner, Out of sheer respect for the irreverence of the tavern's name, he declares he will "spend coin, imbibe in strong drink" and, although he doesn't realize it at the time, begin his life anew.

Not that his old life is about to let him off the hook if he pursues publishing his findings. Enter one of the more distinctively attired villains since Odd Job; this guy is seven feet and a couple of inches and wears a brown suit and a brown fedora in all climes, and if his hat is not lethal, his mindset is. However, as James J. Flannery is apt to put it: "There are two great religions native to American soil--the Mormon Church and the Harley-Davidson motorcycle." The folks of Resurrection Corner are of the latter persuasion.

Oborn's prose is fresh, funny, and nonstop. He writes in phrases, thoughts, jumps here, jumps there. It works. It's Oborn's story and he knows exactly how to tell it."

Unknown

"The mind of Joseph Smith has been debated much, by both Mormon and non-Mormon alike. "The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott" is a mystery surrounding the early time of the Mormon faith and the pursuits of Joseph Smith and his early circle of Brigham Young and Matthew Alcott, his historian. Michael Oborn creates a novel that explores the potential of Alcott to rebel and release a tell all history of the period, free from meddling from above. "The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott" is a strong pick for those who are seeking a bit of religion blended in with mystery and thriller."

Daughters for a Time
Jennifer Handford

"Quite and interesting novel of mystery and secrets.  This was a fairly decent self-published book.  I liked the plot with its intrigue and constant sense of danger for the main character.  It is actually a fictional story about a character who is writing a book of reality exposure.  That puts an interesting twist on the circumstances.  I thought the plot and characters were well developed and I did not find the multiple errors that are often present in self-published books.  I think you would enjoy the book if you are interested in a little fun book with a bit of mystery involved.  I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review from the author.  I was not obligated to provide a positive review.  The opinions in this review are my own."

Miriam

"The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott by Michael Oborn is an extravaganza of Joseph Smith with stiff analysis of traditional Mormon church’s behavior all draped in splendid wit.

Matthew Alcott, a former historian for the Mormon Church, discovers a lost revelation received by Joseph Smith in the private papers of Brigham Young. The astonishing truth he stumbled upon makes him acquainted with a new side of Smith and his relationship with women. Matthew decides to expose his findings by writing a book but Church authorities will do anything to silence him.

This novel, unlike other pretentious ones, is an unambiguous thriller based on the background of Mormonism. Instead of books that rebel religion, author here tries to tickle how everything is justifiable in the name of God. The cultural values of religion and its importance in one’s life in the face of human values have been cunningly bought up in a new light, providing enlightenment through entertainment. Irrespective of your religion, this book includes a message to learn for every reader.

Writer has portrayed the protagonist as his alter-ego and tried to convey the subordination of women by Mormon Church in a very intelligent manner, allowing the readers to use their clout of perception and sift their standing. The prominence of Joseph Smith through the eyes of someone who is excommunicated from the Mormon Church is exceptionally articulated. The boldness of writing binds the reader throughout the book making it a delightful page-turner." 

Deepak Nare Rating: 4.5/5

"(DISCLAIMER: Book contains use of obscenities. If you are easily offended by the use of certain words, then you will not want to read this book).

"Who is Joseph Smith anyway and how far will the Mormons go to defend him? No longer just a religious movement, Mormonism influences politics, the economy and culture. Michael Oborn, in his book "The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott," explores the Mormon faith and culture using a fictional story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I only wish the author had filtered his language so that I could recommend this book to everyone. Matthew Alcott was the historian for the Mormon Church and discovers a lost revelation received by Joseph Smith in the private papers of Brigham Young. Matthew decides to write a book exposing the truth while the Church authorities scramble to silence him.

"[This] was the book I wanted to read and couldn't find," said Oborn. He considers Matthew his alter ego. "Most of the story scenes actually happened to me," he said; however, "the scene at the sublevels of the SLC Temple are pure fiction used to illustrate that there is nothing that cannot be justified in the name of God."

After Oborn came to terms with his beliefs, his family no longer accepted him and his wife divorced him. At some point he expects to be excommunicated from the Mormon Church. Believable or not, his story highlights the plight of women in the Mormon Church. Isolated from the outside world, girls are conditioned thoroughly into the Mormon culture.

"The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott" is definitely a page turner you won't put down until its finished. Thankfully, it won't be Oborn's last as he has two books in the works. One is a story about Jack Smith, sports reporter at the Post Intelligencer, Seattle, and Oborn's close friend until his death in 2005. Oborn still has a lot of research to do for this book which is a story he says demands to be told.

He is also planning a story about Obadiah, whose son is Bishop of the local church (ward) and who will do anything for his granddaughter. When his son is about to send her off to LDS Social Services, he becomes enraged.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in order to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

By Jill P. Jones "iambelievinggod" (Opelika, AL)

"5.0 out of 5 stars my journey with M. Alcott"

March 24, 2013
Jennifer Vsetecka "Busdriver Jenn" (Seattle, Wa)

"Matt Alcott by Michael Oborn is a gritty and breathless read. Matt would be all right if he could just keep off the booze. It's already cost him his job as a journalist and his marriage, and now it might cost him his life. Someone is after the historical documents he stole when he worked as a historian for the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City. The information he has is devastating. Matt needs to stay sober to keep his wits about him to firstly survive and secondly to write his revelatory book. He flees to, of all places, Resurrection Corner. In the One Hump Bar he meets James J, the barkeep who is a reformed alcoholic and encourages Matt to turn his life round. Cate is another incentive for doing so. Slowly his damning book is written as Matt gets a grip on himself. But powerful, persistent people don't want it published and Matt's isn't the only life in danger any more.

Oborn's style is quirky, inventive and addictive. It's almost stream of consciousness, at times almost minimalist, but it's the perfect vehicle for this novel and proves an efficient way of presenting the characters and the tangling strands of plot that carry us with them. Short sentences, short paragraphs, short chapters that jump from past to present as the action unfolds. The author doesn't waste a word. There is a wide range of characters and emotions. There is the darkness of despair, spite and betrayal but also courage, loyalty, trust and love. This is an incredibly powerful, gripping novel.

"Women's rights are certainly in question in this compelling mystery that delves into the life of Joseph Smith in a way no book before has done. Congratulations Michael."

Idaho writer
July 24, 2012

"Between fiction and credibility"

June 3, 2013
Neven Orhel (Zagreb, Croatia Croatia)

"Matthew Alcott, a historian for the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City, and a "flesh and blood" person (alcohol problems), discovers a lost revelation received by Joseph Smith in the private papers of Brigham Young. The findings about the Mormon Church are devastating. The Mormon Church (as any other great church organization) is not dedicated to God only, but has much wider aspirations (in politics, economy, culture). Like "DaVinci Code" the author creates a gripping story, balancing skillfully between fiction and facts (which he is more than familiar with), and it is up to the reader to decide on the level of credibility stated in the book. Author's own (negative) experience with the Mormon Church gives additional weight to the entire story, and make the reader partly identify with the hero. The truth is always dangerous, and the Great Organization will do everything it can to protect its interests. Every Great Organization at any time....

This is an investigative type novel which is particularly close to me as I write in the similar way. I recommend warmly. No doubt it is a five-star novel."

Neven Orhel
Author of "A Touch of Cold".

"A Complex Tale of Love, Loss, Self-Discovery and Redemption"

September 4, 2013

 

"A classic novel starts with a crisis. As this book begins, Mathew Alcott has been divorced, fired, robbed, drugged and left naked in the Nevada desert. Powerful forces want him silenced, but have stopped short of killing him. Having already fled his native Utah and cut ties with his family, Mathew resolves to change his identity and disappear altogetherHe sets off on a drunken odyssey across the country. Arriving at random in New York State, Matthew goes to ground in a small town called Resurrection Corner. There he finds rest, companionship and a measure of peace. I enjoyed how Oborn built up slowly the relationship between Matthew and his new lover Cate. She is intrigued but disgusted by him at first, a drunk trying not-too-successfully to sober up. The description of their first night together is original and beautiful. But Matthew has brought with him burdens that he cannot easily put down.

A former newspaper journalist, he is determined to write a book examining critically the foundations of the Mormon Church. Matthew sees something of himself in Joseph Smith, the Church’s charismatic founder. And Matthew is determined to bring to light discoveries he made while working in the Church archives. The novel alternates between vignettes of Smith’s life and Matthew's.I cannot vouch for the accuracy of Oborn’s portrayal of Mormonism in general or Smith in particular. Suffice it to say that the Church and its members portray the rich, powerful and morally challenged opposition, a role played in other novels by capitalists or politicians depending on the author’s taste. We are meant to despise the bad guys, so they are made loathsome.

As a Chemical Dependency Professional, Oborn writes with passion and compassion about Matthew’s struggles with alcoholism. Other characters in the story -fellow addicts, counselors and caregivers – share this theme. The novel’s climax and conclusion feature an ensemble of unlikely heroes.

Like the Da Vinci code, Oborn’s novel is at one level a long-running battle between Mathew Alcott and a secret society allied with the church. At another level it explores men’s use of religion to subjugate and control women. One may read it for entertainment, or to ponder deeper questions not limited to fiction."

By David K. Stone this review is from: The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: HERITAGE OF SECRETS (Kindle Edition)

"Fast-paced thriller with great insight into the human psyche"

August 25, 2013


"The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: No one can accuse Oborn of not having much of a plot. From the very first page, the reader gets thrown into the tumultuous world of Matthew Alcott, the black sheep in his Mormon family. Alcott, disillusioned with the faith he grew up in, has taken it upon himself to write an unflattering book about the church's founding father Joseph Smith. A former historian in the Mormon church, Alcott has pieced together a humanly flawed picture of Smith, which could cause an uproar among the female worshippers. The church's leadership stops at nothing to prevent the book's publication, all the while masterfully justifying their crimes by twisting biblical doctrines.

Oborn has crafted a fast-paced thriller with memorable characters. Those society views as upright and righteous, turn out to be criminals, while a bunch of social outcasts show unexpected compassion. A tremendously good thriller that gives great insight into the human psyche."

Kirsten Jany

 

"People of faith have four main threads that hold the fabric of our life together. Our Family, our friends connect us together, along with our job for our livelihood. Our faith binds all of that into a community and provides the moral code, and connection to a higher power.

Matt Alcott loses all when his search through the history of his faith brings revelations that tear that fabric apart, and he has to begin anew. Michael Oborn weaves a great action story that exposes darker secrets that the leaders in Salt Lake City would not want let out. Fact, fiction or maybe some of both combined with a fresh writing style keeps you turning the pages, and wanting to know more. A great portrait of different American cultural experiences and changes in our lives."

This review is by Marguetite Ashton

 

"This is an intriguing, suspenseful story. The author does a great job of bringing you right into the thick of the plot. From the first page you are engaged in the story and do not want to put it down. The author does a great job of taking us inside the Mormon church and seeing what the power brokers will do to stop any bad press from coming out about their church. This was so well written I wondered if the author had true to life experiences himself in the Mormon church. This story which focused on the inside power brokers of the Mormon church reminded me of Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code. This is a great read!"

This review is by Jerry Zehr The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: Heritage of Secrets (Paperback)

"THE COMPLETE MYSTERY OF MATTHEW ALCOTT is a compelling story involving intrigue in the inner workings of the Mormon church. Oborn has created a plot infused with suspense and mystery. It even has a bit of romance and healthy dashes of wry humor. Oborn's protagonist and supporting characters are believable and well-developed. The author's knowledge of the Mormon religion and substance abuse recovery is evident in his writing.

Liberal use of fragmented sentences made the narration seem choppy to me at times. Still, I was drawn into the story of Matthew and was led to sympathize with the character's drive to write and then publish his book about the Mormon church despite the dangers he faced. I liked the pace of the story, and the action kept me reading."\

This review is D. A. Lawson Mystery of Matthew Alcott: Heritage of Secrets (Paperback)