Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Review of The Mountains Bow Down, by Sibella Giorello

I came late to this series when I read The Clouds Roll Away. Once I finished that book (my glowing review is here), I couldn't wait for another Raleigh Harmon story, so I was delighted to dive into the next book in the series.

About The Mountains Bow Down: Everything's going to work out. Time away always makes things better . . ..

That's what FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon believes as she boards a cruise to Alaska. A land of mountains and gems and minerals, The Last Frontier is a dream destination for this forensic geologist who's hoping to leave behind a hectic work schedule and an engagement drained of romance.

But when a passenger goes missing and winds up dead, Raleigh's vacation suddenly gets lost at sea. The ship's security chief tries to rule the death a suicide, but Raleigh's forensics background points to a much darker conclusion: Somewhere onboard, a ruthless murderer walks free.

Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis-perpetual ladies man Special Agent Jack Stephanson. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder, provide consultation for a movie filming onboard, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack-who might not be such a jerk after all.

My Review:

Once again, I was impressed by the quality of Sibella Giorello's writing. FBI-type stories are often action-packed, but written crisply and rather functionally. Giorello keeps things moving, but does so with insightful and evocative narrative.

Raleigh is a really remarkable and appealing character--one who is courageous, skilled at her job, and tough, but also completely feminine and sure of her faith. She is impossible not to like.

It's funny that my one criticism of the last book is somewhat answered in this one. Of The Clouds Roll Away, I wrote:

The one aspect of the book that didn't ring quite as true, for me, was Raleigh's romance with DeMott. Maybe this is one area where having read the first two books would have helped, but without knowing the history of the relationship, it seemed almost like an aside to me.

Apparently there was a reason for that. In this book, Raleigh is engaged to DeMott, but is seriously struggling with uncertainty about her feelings for him and her attraction to Jack.

I have to tell you, reading these two books has made me a serious Sibella Giorello fan. I would recommend them to anyone who loves a good, well-written, suspenseful tale--and I would point them out to anyone who questions whether Christian fiction boasts top-notch talent.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from LitFuse Publicity. 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.”

1 comment:

Scribe said...

"Giorello keeps things moving, but does so with insightful and evocative narrative." That's refreshing to hear, especially in this age of rampant bad writing.

Good review!


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