Friday, April 23, 2010

The Clouds Roll Away - Sibella Giorello

The Clouds Roll Away is the third novel in Sibella Giorello's Raleigh Harmon series. It was the first book by this author that I had read.

The setting is in the South, where racial tensions and undercurrents still simmer. When a burning cross is found on the yard of a black rapper who has moved into an old plantation, the heat is turned up and FBI Agent Harmon is called in to investigate the hate crime. Her unique specialty is forensic geology. The author draws on her own geology degree for background.

Harmon is an interesting character and the sub plot involving her personal life is just as appealing as the case itself. She's just moved back to Richmond, Virginia having survived a disciplinary move to another field office. Her mother is mentally living in the past, and Raleigh's past wants to catch up with her - in the form of an old boyfriend.

The main plot idea is a good one. However I thought it got a bit muddy in places, specifically in the procedurals. The law enforcement characters seemed to be caricatures. In the beginning Wally the lodger seemed like a character out of place. His involvement is not really clear until the end when he is used as a vehicle for a redemption theme.

The Clouds Roll Away is marketed as Christian suspense. Although the crime in heinous, there is no overt violence. The Christian message is there, but again is not 'in your face'. Giorello's writing flows easily and her descriptions of scenes were worth reading slowly and savouring. I did feel a little lost in the beginning as I had not read the previous two books. I did enjoy this book, but it was the character herself I really connected with. The crime was intriguing, but was secondary for me. Fans of this genre would definitely enjoy this series - the fourth book is in the works.

Read an excerpt of The Clouds Roll Away.

Fans of this genre would enjoy this series.


bermudaonion said...

I like the setting, but I'm not sure the book is for me.

Silver Strands said...

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