June 4, 2011

Review : The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello

Title : The Mountains Bow Down
Author : Sibella Giorello
Reading Dates : 28 May - 31 May 2011
The Mountains Bow Down (A Raleigh Harmon Novel)
Raleigh Harmon
Books in the series includes :
  • The Stones Cry Out
  • The River Runs Dry
  • The Clouds Roll Away
  • The Mountains Bow Down
  • The Stars Shine On
From Amazon :
Everything's going to work out. Time away always makes things better . . .

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-handsome 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 as arrogant as she originally thought.

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 mystery so daunting that even the mountains might bow down before it.

Book Review of The Mountains Bow Down.
While The Mountains Bow Down is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone novel. I certainly had no problems in understanding the events of the story even though I read it out of order.

On the whole, the story was rather enjoyable but it didn’t exactly light a fire in me where I wanted to read the next book immediately. The ending leaves enough loose ends to get me curious about the next case and the events surrounding the heroine’s personal life but not so much that I’d be compelled to rush for the book.

What I really liked about The Mountains Bow Down was the romantic tension between Raleigh and her partner on the case, Jack. It’s definitely easy to see that there’s something going on between the 2 main characters despite both their attitudes. And in the beginning, it’s this tension that actually sustains the story. It was certainly more exciting than the case they were investigating.

The other thing I liked about the tale was how the murder mystery kept me guessing until the end. The investigation plods along at a methodical pace and does eventually get solved and there are actually plenty of clues if you know where to look. Unfortunately, I didn’t and neither did Raleigh until the end. Its no wonder as well because of the natural assumptions people makes.

What I couldn’t like though was how Raleigh handled her personal relationships. There’s just something wishy-washy about how she keeps lying to herself especially regarding her mother and her fiance.

The other thing was the explanations relating Raleigh’s field of expertise, which was geology. I admit they went completely above my head though someone else might find these rather interesting.

Still, this were enough elements in the story to engage my interest until the end and put it on the list of reads I liked.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Maybe.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Maybe, but I wouldn't rush to get it.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No.
  • Who would I recommend this too? I'd say this is more for those who like Murder Mysteries, Forensic Mysteries or Police Procedural Thrillers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Mystery readers might consider buying the book. Else, I'd suggest borrowing it.

In My Mailbox
Teaser Tuesdays
Challenges : 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge, Mystery and Suspense Challenge
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I am not required to write a positive review; the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

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