Book Review - The Clouds Roll Away

Forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns home for Christmas but discovers Richmond, Virginia running low on goodness and light.

Although her exemplary service in Seattle lifted her disciplinary transfer, Raleigh lands a hometown civil rights case riddled with problems that could get her sent away again. When she helps out a fellow cop, her life goes on the line, forcing her undercover in a sting operation. As Raleigh realizes the lines are crossing and double-crossing, her domestic life starts to unravel. Her mother's mental health cracks like ice, her closest friend grows cold, and her old boyfriend DeMott comes a-calling, hoping for more than chestnuts by an open fire.

While the city glows with Christmas lights and carols, Raleigh is forced to rely on her sharpest skills to stay alive, hoping for that one clear moment when everything makes sense and the clouds roll away.

Romance: 4

Violence: 3

Fear/Horror: 4

Overall Opinion: 5


When I finished the last sentence in The Clouds Roll Away, I could only think of one word – Wow! And it wasn’t because this was an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting suspense thriller that left me gasping for breath (though don’t get me wrong; it still had the suspense and lots of mystery!) But just the quality of the book – the complex story plot coupled with the depth of the characters – made this a book to remember.

This is the third book in the Raleigh Harmon series and although I hadn’t read the first two books, I didn’t feel lost. Sibella did a great job at letting the reader know enough of past experience’s so that I could slide right into the story. Though I must say I now want to go and read the first two books. She gave enough history, but didn’t completely divulge in everything, thus wetting my appetite and making me eager to read of Raleigh’s previous adventures! (Always a good sign, coming from a new reader and fan! ;-)

Entering the book as Raleigh returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, I could instantly tell that there was a big story behind her sudden disciplinary transfer to Seattle, Washington (and something tells me The River Runs Dry and The Rocks Cry Out hold a lot of the answers to that! ;-). Raleigh’s character was easy to get to know and I instantly grew attached to her character. There was one character, however, I did not grow so attached with. I created an instant dislike for her boss, Victoria Phaup. Talk about an annoying and vengeful person! Every time a scene came up with Phaup in it, I wanted to slap her! lol

The story between Raleigh and her ex-boyfriend DeMott was sweet. There was a little love story between the two throughout the book, and I liked where it left their friendship at the close of the book. The romance in this book was by no means heavy, and I enjoyed this light touch to the mystery/suspense story. DeMott was a true gentleman that I instantly liked!

I could only find one thing negative in this story. I personally thought Sibella handled the language of gangsters very well - only one curse word, that I can remember. But a few times she did explain what bad word is used. For example, one character called Raleigh a few obscene words and spilt the F-Bomb. The actual word was not written in the book, though - Sibella just explained that it was said. And seeing that her character was dealing with hate-crime, gangs, drugs – I know the author was trying to remain realistic with those situations. While I would have rather there not be any bad words, the two or three times she explained a curse word did not ruin the book for me.

The charters were all well-developed and all felt very personal and believable. Sully was a character I couldn’t help but chuckle over and DeMott was the one I kept cheering for as he tried to show Raleigh he wanted another chance. The ending of this book took me totally by surprise! With a twisting, suspenseful plot and descriptive characters – no wonder this book has made it to a top favorite in my list. I highly recommend this book to other mystery/suspense fans! :-)

I reviewed this book for LitFuse. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.


Post a Comment

Photo credit: Lori Warman