Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Sneeze Review: The mountains bow down

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The Mountains Bow Down (A Raleigh Harmon Novel)

Raleigh Harmon, a forensic geologist turned FBI special agent, is on an Alaskan cruise vacation when murder on board forces her to put her vacation on hold in The Mountains Bow Down.  While investigating the death of a movie star's wife, Raleigh tries to keep her mother's fragile sanity from breaking.  She is helped in her case by rugged and handsome Special Agent Jack Stephanson. His presence only adds to her confusion about her engagement to her high school sweetheart back home in Richmond, VA.  With all these thoughts competing for first place in her mind, can Raleigh concentrate enough on the case to find the killer in time?  Will Raleigh patch things up with her fiance or choose to pursue her interested FBI partner?  Will her mother ever be able to forgive her for the lies she has told?

This is the fourth book in the Raleigh Harmon series by Sibella Giorello.  While I have enjoyed the other books in the series, I find the action in them to be a little slow for my taste.  The Mountains Bow Down is definitely the best one yet in the series.  Giorello is true to her writing form and doesn't add in unnecessary action scenes, yet the investigation storyline seems to move faster in this book, then in previous ones.  It kept my attention and made me want to keep reading until I found out who did it.

Giorello spends a lot of time developing Raleigh's character throughout these books so by the fourth, you feel like you really know this character.  You see her anguish as she deals with her mother's mental illness and how she copes by throwing herself into this murder investigation.  You almost feel with her as she struggles to choose between her overbearing fiance back home and the arrogant but caring (and obviously interested) man right in front of her.  These issues that she faces seem real, not a storyline made up by an author.  When you are done reading, all you want to do it give Raleigh a big hug and let her cry on your shoulder for all the burdens that she is bearing.

The one thing I didn't like about the book is that it almost entirely negates the relationships Giorello spent the last several books developing.  You leave the third book sure that Raleigh has finally found true love, only to have that thought entirely turned around by the end of the first chapter of this book.  It seemed a little to convenient for me.  But since that is the only bad thing I have to say about this novel, I would still highly recommend reading it, especially if you have read the previous Raleigh Harmon novels.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

The book ends with a definite nod to a sequel.  And in light of that, I look forward to reading book number five.

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