The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello, book 4 in the Raleigh Harmon series (Thomas Nelson, March 1, 2011), 384 pages
FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon takes a cruise to Alaska, with her fragile mom and wacky aunt, consulting on a movie. The forensic geologist is thrilled about the prospect of experiencing this land rich with geologic treasures. But when a passenger is found dead, her exploring is put on hold while she investigates.
I loved all the earlier Raleigh Harmon books, so I was really looking forward to this one.
Earlier Raleigh Harmon books
The Mountains Bow Down was a departure from the excellence of the previous two installments (the first one was published by a different publisher and was weaker), though, in at least one area.
The character Raleigh is still awesome. She’s wonderfully flawed, confused, hurt, strong. The rest of the cast is fun, too. I love her position, and how she relates to the people in her life and work.
We didn’t get to delve into the emotional impact some of the book’s events had on Raleigh as much as I would have liked, but I suspect that’s partly due to the nature of Raleigh herself and the pace of the book. I also felt the relationship between Raleigh and her aunt’s friend was a bit more acrimonious than it had been in previous installments, and than it needed to be. But the main cloud hanging over this book, for me, was the absence of geology. Raleigh was out of her element, and while it made sense for the book, I felt the lack intensely.
I think the writing may be better in this installment, but I came away more dissatisfied with this one.
Rating: 3.75 stars
About the author
Sibella Giorello (blog, @sibellagiorello, Facebook) was a features reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for more than 10 years before turning her hand to fiction; her work received two Pulitzer nominations.
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