That's what FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon believes as she boards a cruise to Alaska. A land of mountains and gems and minerals, The Last Frontier is a dream destination for this forensic geologist who's hoping to leave behind a hectic work schedule and an engagement drained of romance.
But when a passenger goes missing and winds up dead, Raleigh's vacation suddenly gets lost at sea. The ship's security chief tries to rule the death a suicide, but Raleigh's forensics background points to a much darker conclusion: Somewhere onboard, a ruthless murderer walks free.
Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis-perpetual ladies man Special Agent Jack Stephanson. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder, provide consultation for a movie filming onboard, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack-who might not be such a jerk after all.
And that's only her work life. Family offers even more challenges. Joined on the cruise by her mother and aunt, Raleigh watches helplessly as disturbing rifts splinter her family.
Like the scenery that surrounds the cruise ship, Raleigh discovers a situation so steep and so complex that even the mountains might bow down.
What I Thought
This is the second book I've read featuring Raleigh Harmon, Sibella Giorello's main character. In my previous review, I mentioned that Harmon, well, was a bit hard to get to know. She is, a very gritty character.
But, I think like a good wine, either she (the character) is "aging" well, as the series progresses, or I'm just enjoying watching her solve crimes and continue to grow in her faith.
This novel, set on an Alaskan cruise, was a good read. Intense at times, it held my attention to the very end. I was even surprised a time or two by the plot twists. It also made me want to go on a cruise - to explore some of the Alaskan scenery described so vividly by Giorello.
I also like the author's introduction (or re-introduction) of Jack Stephanson, another special agent assigned to solve the murder. I think (in my personal opinion) he's a match better for Harmon than her southern fiance.
If you like The Women's Murder Club by James Patterson, I truly believe you'll find this series a good read. It's enjoyable to find a murder-suspense novel without the "junk" of gratuitous language and horror.
On a scale of one to five, with five the highest, I give this book a strong "four". It's well written, with strong characters and plot development. This series is definitely growing on me and I am really looking forward to the next book, The Stars Shine On, set for a March 2012 release.
About The Author
Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize.
She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Giorello and her other books at her website. www.sibellagiorello.com
Buy The Mountains Bow Down at Amazon.com
See other books by Sibella Giorello on Amazon
Read my review of The Clouds Roll Away (Another Raleigh Harmon Novel) here.
Follow the Litfuse Group Blog Tour Here!
Check out the other books in the Raleigh Harmon series here!
Discover Raleigh Harmon
The Stones Roll Away is the critically acclaimed award winner that kicked off the Raleigh Harmon series.
Find The Stones Cry Out at Amazon
Find The Stones Cry Out at Barnes & Noble
It's A Contest
Sibella Giorello is celebrating the release of The Mountains Bow Down with a blog tour, a Cruise prize pack worth more than $500 and a Facebook Party! Don't miss a minute of the fun.
One Grand Prize winner will receive:
- A $500 gift certificate toward the cruise of their choice from Vacations To Go.
- The entire set of the Raleigh Harmon series.
About the Facebook Party: Join Giorello and fans of the Raleigh Harmon series at 5 p.m. PST (that's 6 p.m. MST, 7 p.m. CST & 8 p.m. EST) Tuesday, April 5, for a Facebook Book Club Party.
Giorello will give away some fun prizes, test your trivia skills and host a book chat about the Raleigh Harmon books. Have questions you'd like to chat about - leave them on the Event page.
Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.