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Meet Lorraine Armstrong, a feisty, rebellious teen growing up in a strict Jehovah’s Witness family in a small southwest Ontario town in the late 1960s. Why must there be so many unfair rules – no birthday parties, no Christmas, no regular friends – she rails against her mother; while in a Kingdom Hall not far away, young Georgia Jackson goes missing. Whispers of abduction and murder terrorize the quiet community.
A week later Lorraine’s brother Peter is critically injured in a car accident and her father consents to a blood transfusion. Punishment is swift and calculated.
The powder keg already smoldering in Lorraine’s mind explodes. Lorraine’s story will make you laugh; it will make you weep, but her eventual escape and the long road of reconciliation from the haunting memories of her past will make you cheer out-loud.
Murder in the Fourth is both a story of escape and exposure: escape from the clutches of a fear-driven ideology, and exposure of the secret mind-bending machinations religious cults employ to keep members compliant, submissive and isolated from mainstream society. Depicting one family’s suffering and righteous indignities under the strict and arbitrary tenets of the Jehovah’s Witness organization, this touching narrative mirrors thousands of other families torn apart by the divisive nature of similar religions. In this remarkable work, Whicher and Martin take murder to a new level.
Ruth Anne Whicher was born into a Jehovah’s Witness family and draws from profound personal experience for her first novel. Ruth Anne has created a compelling saga of a family mired in religion and their ultimate escape from the clutches of a cult. Rather than a memoir, she chose creative non-fiction to debut her story. Ruth Anne lives in Nova Scotia with her husband John.