Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello

FBI agent Raleigh Harmon is back in Richmond. Rapper RPM has experienced a hate crime and Harmon is brought in on the case. She also gets involved in an undercover operation aimed at thugs selling drugs.

Throw into the mix Raleigh's mother who is showing increasing signs of dementia. Back in Raleigh's life is DeMott, who has known Raleigh since childhood and is now setting his sights on her. And there is Raleigh's antagonistic sister Helen who makes life more difficult, especially when dealing with their mother.
Among the quirky characters is Victoria Phaup, Raleigh's immediate superior and initiator of the disciplinary action that sent Raleigh to Seattle. There's Flynn who is intent on preventing rapper RPM from ruining the historical flavor of the mansion he owns. And Beezus Jackson who keeps life interesting while she and Raleigh listen to wire tapped phones.
Giorello has done it again. The action kept my interest and some of the characters were just quirky enough to give added interest and occasional humor. I feel like I am getting to know Raleigh well as she struggles to take the right path in her job, in her faith, and with her declining mother.
The only weak part in the plot, I felt, was the initial hate crime. At the end of the book, I couldn't help but wonder why the crime was committed in the first place, as it seemed to make everything go bad for the one who commissioned it.
Now, if Giorello would just get Raleigh permanently stationed in the Pacific Northwest...
See the author's website:
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 325 pages.  Publisher's information and additional reviews.

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