Summary: After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.
Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.
She’s never felt more alone.
Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiancé wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.
With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiancé will make things better—or worse.
Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.
My Thoughts: There were surprising twists and turns. Whodunit without the who being obvious. Neither Raleigh nor I figured it out until just about the end.
The mystery itself was very interesting. I found myself often wondering what was going on. When it’s all explained at the end, there’s an aha moment. It all makes sense. And it’s not predictable. I didn’t know what was going on, or who was responsible for much of anything, until the very end.
That said, I didn’t find Raleigh to have much depth. Maybe if I’d read previous books in the series (Raleigh Harmon) I might feel differently, but I haven’t. So I don’t know her backstory. There is allusion to things, reference to things, that shows that there is much more to her. We aren’t told so much as to feel confused or left out, but we’re also not told enough. She just felt flat to me. However, Raleigh’s faith is very real. It’s similar to my own. While I’m not constantly going on about God, I’m constantly aware of Him. I turn to Him when needed, acknowledge (usually quietly) His presence in my life, but don’t overtly go on and on about it. It’s clear she’s a believer, but the faith aspect is barely a part of the story. Someone who doesn’t typically read faith-based fiction wouldn’t find this to be preachy or annoying or anything other than a good mystery.
Read It: Get your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
About the Author: Sibella Giorello grew up in the mountains of Alaska admiring the beauty and nature that surrounded her. She majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts hoping to learn more about the landscape she loved back home. From there Sibella followed a winding path, much like the motorcycle ride she took across the country, which led to her true love, journalism.
She found herself in Seattle writing for rock-n-roll magazine and earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington before heading south to the land of great stories.
In Virginia, Sibella became a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was there she also met her husband and would hear Jesus whispering her name at a tent revival.
Sibella started writing about Raleigh Harmon as a way to keep her love of story-telling alive while staying at home with her young sons. As a journalist and author, her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. The Stones Cry Out, the first Raleigh Harmon novel, won a Christy award for debut novel in 2008. Sibella now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.
*** Win a Kindle Fire ***
Novelist Sibella Giorello is celebrating the release of the latest book in her praiseworthy Raleigh Harmon series by giving away a Kindle Fire!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A brand new Kindle Fire
- The entire 5-book Raleigh Harmon series.
Hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/25/12. The winner will be announced on 8/27/12 on Sibella’s blog!
FTC Disclosure: All items reviewed were either obtained by me for my own enjoyment or sent (from the author, publisher, publicist, via tour sites, etc.) in exchange for an honest review. I receive no monetary compensation for my posts. All opinions expressed are my own. Any exceptions to this are clearly noted in the appropriate posts.
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