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Book Cover  
   Teapot Rating
  Anonymous Tip
   Michael Farris

  1996 Broadman & Holman Pub Nashville TN USA
   ISBN: 0805462937

When the child abuse industry goes amok, innocent parents and children are violated and their privacy invaded by self-serving bureaucrats with big egos and expedient ethics.

This is a gripper! From the first page on you're getting deeper and faster into the undertow an anonymous tip can generate. You watch as a youthful and award-winning Children Protective Service investigator assails a citizen in her own home and, when Constitutional concerns are raised, returns with a vengeance.

No matter how avid you might be about protecting children from abusive parents, you have got to understand how CPS investigators determine the validity of an anonymous tip to the actual inspection of abused children. And then you have to watch as egos, case load success rates and an unnerving slew of abuse of authority get involved.

Mr. Farris, himself an attorney, has written a hair-raising read of one such episode going from bad to worse, from probable cause to horrible intent. He has a brisk, energetic style, keeps us informed about the legal profession, citing both legalese and lay language and adds one aspect which colors and underpins his entire story.

Our protagonist is a born-again Christian and this is also about their practices, their churches, their struggles and their prayers. I found it refreshing, interesting and wholly acceptable if, at times, a trifle awkward. But then life is an awkward adventure, isn't it?

While a couple of surprises in Anonymous Tip are too convenient, and I had trouble with the complete ignoring of the Hot Line operator and/or tapes, this book is about everyday folks caught up in the grip of those old seducers: greed, falsehoods and power. It was pure relief to find people actually struggling with their consciences, with choices between evil and good.

I liked watching Mr. Farris' lawyers joust before judges and I was acutely aware of their levels of civility or lack thereof; their respect and absorption in the word of the law vis-à-vis the intent of revenge. And it was provocative to keep company with someone who had vowed to speak the truth, the best he knew how and to live his life accordingly.

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