‘The Clouds Roll Away’ by Sibella Giorello

Raleigh Harmon is a forensic geologist with a secret life as an FBI agent. Following her father’s death and her return to her Richmond hometown, she works a civil rights case with a famous victim and a drug-running task force when her files begin to intersect. With a suspicious boss, the return of a love interest and an emotionally frail mother, how will Raleigh solve the case without anyone else getting hurt – including herself?

Giorello writes beautiful, descriptive text that draws the reader in. Although seemingly distant at times, throughout the book Raleigh takes on a life of her own until she seems to be munching on a Big Mac right next to the reader. The history of the Richmond area is included in a realistic way, not only bringing the area to life but helping to round out the edges of Raleigh’s case. The plot keeps the reader in suspense while not being too over the top. While faith was definitely a part of Raleigh’s make-up, it seemed to be a distant part. A deeper exploration of her return to faith would have made her character’s transformation more complete.

My biggest concern with this book lies with its history. This is the second Raleigh Harmon book, and apparently much happens in the first book that is relevant to her Richmond roots – only it isn’t fully explained here. I felt as if I would have been better able to understand Raleigh throughout the first half of the book had Giorello taken a bit more time to explore her background here and catch new readers up to speed. This will not deter me from reading these books – they are very well written – but these are definitely not stand alone books. I will recommend these to my friends – starting with the first one.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. 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 “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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