Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Review: The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello

The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon)The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon)
is a wonderful book!

About the book (from Amazon):
Closing her assignment with the FBI's Seattle office, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, expecting a warm welcome. Instead she finds herself investigating an ugly cross burning at a celebrity's mansion and standing in the crosshairs of her boss at the Bureau. And the deeper Raleigh digs into the case, the murkier the water becomes...until she's left wondering who the real victims might be.

To make matters worse, Raleigh's personal life offers almost zero clarity. Her former confidant is suddenly remote while her former boyfriend keeps popping up wherever she goes. And then there's her mother. Raleigh's move home was supposed to improve Nadine's fragile sanity, but instead seems to be making things worse.

As the threads of the case begin crossing and double-crossing, Raleigh is forced to rely on her forensic skills, her faith, and the fervent hope that breakthrough will come, bringing with it that singular moment when the clouds roll away and everything finally makes sense.

My Comments:

While mystery/thriller-type books are not my usual read, I haven't had the best luck lately with my usual historical/romantic-type fiction, and there was something intriguing about this one, so when Phenix & Phenix Publicists offered me a complimentary review copy, I accepted.  First of all, the author, Sibella Giorello can write, and write beautifully.  I'm a rapid reader, I read for ideas, not details, as a general rule.  I devour books, I don't generally savor them.  Language is usually the medium, not something I appreciate on its own behalf; but this book is different.  Yes, it was a good story, but there were times when I stopped my breakneck reading speed and read paragraphs out loud just to hear the language.

The book is Christian fiction, but that doesn't mean it is sappy sweet and full of all sorts of preaching.  What it does mean is that the language is clean, despite the fact that main characters are rappers and gang members.  It means that the characters go to church.  It means that when Raleigh questions a dying KKK member, she asks him if he has thought about the hereafter.  Raleigh has a strong faith and believes that grace, not fate, has kept her alive.  I'll be the first to tell you that much Christian fiction isn't worth reading if you aren't into religion, but I really think this book could have a much larger audience.

This is the third book in the series.  While there was reference to some back story, primarily the fact that Raleigh was newly back in her hometown of Richmond VA, after having been banished to Washington State.  She has a romantic interest who is from her past as well.  While this story came to a satisfying end, there were threads left open, presumably for another book.

Grade A-.


  1. Thank you for your thoughtful review, RAann. I really appreciate the time you took with the book, and the review. It got me thinking, too: Maybe I should market my books as flashing yellow lights -- capable of slowing down speed-readers like you! ;-)

    Thanks again,


  2. Sounds like a good book; I love a mystery! It's going on my list!


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