Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello

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 on board, a ruthless murderer walks free.

Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis—handsome 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 on board, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack—who might not be as arrogant as she originally thought.

And that's only her work life. Family offers even more challenges. Joined on the cruise by her mother and aunt, Raleigh watches helplessly as disturbing rifts splinter her family.

Like the scenery that surrounds the cruise ship, Raleigh discovers a mystery so daunting that even the mountains might bow down before it.

My review:
This is the third book in this series. I did not read the first, but did read the second. I enjoyed it, but this book is far better. Faster moving, more suspense.

The book starts off with a murder on a cruise ship,  and vacationing FBI agent Raleigh Harmon is pulled into helping since she is on the cruise.

This was one of those books that I started reading and finished in one evening. It was that good. Very interesting and gripping. The plot and suspense was great, the setting was a good idea - not many books I have read have been set on a cruise ship.

I was kept guessing who was the murderer. The author brought several scenarios into play. Sometimes I can figure out who the bad guy is, but on this I wasn't sure. There were too many possibilities. I enjoyed the ending and seeing the guilty brought to justice.

This is only the second book I have read by this author, but I noticed in both books that she is a very descriptive writer, giving a lot of detail to describing people, places, and things. I enjoyed that. It helps the reader to be able to "see" more of the story.
There is not a lot of Christian content in the book. The main character is a Christian and reference is made to that, but there is enough to call it Christian fiction, but not enough that the Christian content opponents of Christian fiction would find "preachy."

There is one issue I had with the book. If you are familiar with my book reviews, I take issue with swearing/curse words, and inappropriate content. This book has no cursing, but there is something mentioned that I feel is out of place for a Christian book. I don't even want to discuss it here, but I will say it is about a dangerous "solo sex" activity that has taken the lives of many teenagers. I don't feel the word for solo sex belongs in a novel like this, nor the dangerous activity. It would be better for a teen who might read the book to not read about that activity, and I wish the author had not brought that into the story.

Other than that one issue, this was a great book, and I enjoyed reading and reviewing it.

About the author:

Sibella Giorello began writing as a features reporter for newspapers and magazines. Her stories won numerous awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She recently won a Christy award for her novel Stones Cry Out. She lives in Washington state with her husband and family. Twitter @sibellagiorello,!/SibellaGiorelloAuthor.

The Mountains Bow Down is available from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Blogging Group for the review copy.

Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Mountains Bow Down with a blog tour, a Cruise prize pack worth over $500 and a Facebook Party! Don't miss a minute of the fun.

One Grand Prize winner will receive:
  • A $500 gift certificate toward the cruise of their choice from Vacations To Go.
  • The entire set of the Raleigh Harmon series.
To enter click one of the icons below. Then tell your friends. And enter soon - the giveaway ends on 4/1! The winner will be announced at Sibella’s Raleigh Harmon Book Club Party on FB April 5th, 2011! Don’t miss the fun – prizes, books and gab!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

About the Facebook Party: Join Sibella and fans of the Raleigh Harmon series on April 5th at 5:00 pm PST (6 MST, 7 CST & 8 EST) for a Facebook Book Club Party. Sibella will be giving away some fun prizes, testing your trivia skills and hosting a book chat about the Raleigh Harmon books. Have questions you'd like to chat about - leave them on the Event page.


Diane said...

I reviewed this book and enjoyed it too. Have a great weekend! :O)

Sibella said...

Thanks, Mark. Glad you liked the book overall.

Sorry you didn't like the small passage about suicide. While you might not think it belongs in a novel, I included it because it reflects our fallen world. Presently that form of accidental suicide is a a growing problem among youth, particularly in Alaska's Native villages. This came to light while doing research with the mortician in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Thanks again for your generous review.