For once, I am wrong about a sequel to a book. Higher Hope is actually as equally original as Deeper Water is.
Higher Hope is directly continued from it, and begins with Tami taking Zach back to her home and introducing him to her parents. This comprises almost half the book.
When she gets back to the office, a strange case is waiting for her: a woman preacher who has a strange gift of prophecy has been accused of mistreating an upstanding businessman. Sister Dabney, as she is called, as an uncanny ability to know exactly what issues people are going through. This causes Tami to search for answers as she tries to build up a credible case against that very same woman.
Like I said, the end was as original as Deeper Water's. However, it's definitely continued, so I don't know where Whitlow will go with it. But taking the book as a whole, it definitely deserves to be on the Elite list, if only for its continually deepening characters.
The best thing about the Tides of Truth series is that Whitlow has finally departed from the worn out legal "suspense" genre and has created a genre of his own.