Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello

The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello
(Book #3 of The Raleigh Harmon Series)
Genre: Christian Suspense, Mystery
Pages: 325
Date Published: March 2010
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: I received a free review copy of this book as part of a LitFuse Book Tour.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description (from the author's website):
Forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and discovers nothing is quite what it seems in this former Capital of the Confederacy...
Although her exemplary service in Seattle lifted her disciplinary transfer, Raleigh lands a hometown civil rights case riddled with problems that could get her sent away again. When she helps out a fellow cop, her life goes on the line, forcing her undercover in a sting operation. As Raleigh realizes the lines are crossing and double-crossing, her domestic life starts to unravel. Her mother's mental health cracks like ice, her closest friend grows cold, and her old boyfriend DeMott comes a-calling, hoping for more than chestnuts by an open fire.
While the city glows with Christmas lights and carols, Raleigh is forced to rely on her sharpest skills to stay alive, hoping for that one clear moment when everything makes sense and the clouds roll away.

Raleigh Harmon is an FBI agent returning home just in time for the holidays. Her first assignment is to investigate a hate crime at a rap mogul's estate--a cross-burning that turns out to be much more complicated than it appeared at first. There is a lot of tension at Raleigh's office, since her boss keeps her on a short leash and finds an assortment of ways to punish her for something that happened in a previous book. Meanwhile, Raleigh's mother is acting strangely and her former boyfriend keeps turning up wherever she goes.

This novel was interesting and suspenseful, investigating a criminal organization at the same time it touched on themes of racism, family, and sacrifice. Raleigh is focusing on the one hate crime case, but she has several mysteries (job-related and personal) that she's trying to figure out. The way everything came together at the end was satisfying. I also thought the author's writing style was wonderfully descriptive. The first page drew me in with its picturesque words and then the mystery grabbed me and wouldn't let me go.

I quite enjoyed The Clouds Roll Away. It had a lot of unexpected twists and I was never quite sure what would happen next. This is book 3 of the series (which starts with The Stones Cry Out). This was my first time reading Sibella Giorello, and although I wasn't too lost while reading this book, I suggest that the series be read in order. I would have understood the relationships in this novel a lot more easily if I had done so. The faith aspect of this story is subtle and would be great for those who don't like their fiction too preachy. This is definitely a series that I want to read more of, and I'm looking forward to reading the first two books in the series as well as book 4, The Mountains Bow Down, due out in 2011.

The Clouds Roll Away KINDLE Giveaway

Related Linkage:
Reading Challenge: 2010 Holiday Reading Challenge


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