Not only did the latest installment of my favorite mystery series teach me what a phillumenist is (I’ll wait while you look it up), it also spurred me to rearrange my destination wish list (for all those “someday” trips) by bumping an Alaskan cruise up to 4th place. (Israel’s still number one.) Plus the story provided a grand adventure with an exciting climax!
However, when I first read that beleaguered FBI Specialist Raleigh Harmon would be working her latest case with handsome nemesis Jack Stephanson while fiance DeMott Fielding stayed home, I thought the author was stringing me along. A main character torn between two men entices readers to keep turning pages and begging for sequels.
In this case, Jack Stephanson was exactly what Raleigh Harmon needed. He added humor and a sizzle of romance to the story. But even more than that, for the first time I felt that Raleigh had found someone who truly understood her—which proved to be a powerful development in the life of this beloved character. (I shouldn’t have doubted you, Sibella!)
With Jack at her side, Raleigh is able to navigate the colorful cast of characters (the Dutchman, the Ninja, Claire the Clairvoyant) and strip away the Hollywood glitz to discern between what’s an illusion and what’s real. Which for geologist Raleigh, always comes back to earth’s bedrock.
And I loved the scene where she ponders her father’s words that there is something–or Someone–even more sure than the earth’s constants.
“My dad felt compelled to remind me that it would all disappear. Every rock, every hill, each stitch of order. One day the oceans would rise and the mountains bow down, and every last speck of cherished earth would be forced to recognize true power and true majesty . . .
Pulling the blanket over my head, I realized the most stunning part of all. The same God who created these breathtaking landscapes listened to me now.”
What a timely reminder that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46)
This book was a real treat. I almost wish I hadn’t finished it in one day! Follow this link to grab a copy and see how long you can make it last.
Need more details? Here’s the book blurb: FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon boards a cruise to Alaska 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. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder while providing consultation for a movie filming on board.
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 situation so steep and so complex that even the mountains might bow down.
**Thanks to the wonderful Litfuse PR firm, I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
About Sibella: Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Sibella and her other books at her website. www.sibellagiorello.com
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!
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.