I read The Clouds Roll Away last month when my friend, Katy, let me borrow it. I enjoyed the story and while it didn't make it onto my favorites list it was good enough to where I got the next book - The Mountains Bow Down. WOW! What an AMAZING book that was! I couldn't put it down - the mystery was so great and I absolutely loved joining Raleigh on her investigations. I enjoy how Giorello doesn't simply incorporate the mystery, but also Raleigh's own life. It gives the book a little more personal feel. I usually don't like books narrated from the first person's view point, but Giorello did an excellent job pulling it off and I loved reading this book from Raleigh's perspective.
Raleigh was awesome. I loved her in The Clouds Roll Away and even more in The Mountains Bow Down. She loves her job and does it to the best of her ability, often sacrificing her own relax time to do her job, which she actually loved. Few people could understand Raleigh's willingness to do her job even during her vacation in the book, but I sure did! If I had a job as enticing as Raleigh's, I wouldn't want to rest - resting could mean that someone guilty was on the loose! :-)
Raleigh was a very realistic character. She loved her job and desired strongly to get to the bottom of each case. Her mother, who is unstable, is under the assumption that Raleigh is a geologist and Raleigh feels bad about not telling her mother she is an FBI agent and deceiving her. I know I would feel the exact same way! Raleigh thinks that this is the best way to protect her mother and learns some great lessons in the book. I loved her kind and caring nature, and felt as if I were there with her as she endured hardships.
In The Clouds Roll Away I met Demott, who is now Raleigh's fiancée. I'll be honest and say I never really liked Demott. I don't know why really, but I just didn't like him that much at all. Something didn't settle right with me about the guy. In The Mountains Bow Down...I won't lie and say that after the first chapter the voice inside of my head wasn't going "Yes yes YES!". LOL. I'm not sure where the whole Demott thing is going, but suffice to say, I wasn't disappointed at all by the end of the book.
Jack Stephanson. If I was to use one word to describe him it would probably be...SUPERB. ;) Oh my, as soon as Jack walked onto the scene I knew he was going to be my favorite character. He was very funny and annoying and everything awesome. I loved his personality and couldn't help but smile every time he entered the story. His and Raleigh's relationship was so funny and I found myself chuckling at some of the conversations they have. Jack is impossible to not like!
There are a few things to point out as to the content: Porn is involved in a mild amount. There is nothing descriptive in the least - they just find some pictures that it says disgust Raleigh and some of the bad guys are pornographers. Nothing is described at all - but it is something to be pointed out. Also, there is a man who commits adultery with a bunch of women and when his wife finds out she takes him to a therapist to help with sexual addiction. It is just mentioned briefly and it doesn't go into any further. There is also a mention from a coroner about how some teen boys died recently - they watched a video that showed how to wrap a cord around their neck for more sexual thrill. Nothing is described though - just mentioned briefly.
The last think I have to mention is there are a few alcoholics and a man who is always drunk. Nothing bad happens, and it didn't bother me, but I thought I'd point it out.
All in all, this was an amazing book that I highly recommend you pick up. While I do suggest you read the previous books in the series first for a little background, it is not necessary and you could read these as stand alones if you desired. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great mystery!