Book Review: The Mountains Bow Down

16 Mar

A cruise to Alaska sounds like the perfect vacation–it’s a geologist’s dream and will give Raleigh space to sort out her feelings about her recent engagement. But before the ship even reaches its first port, a case manages to find her. The producer of a movie that’s being filmed onboard goes missing and is then discovered hanging from the railing. Suicide seems to be the cause, but Raleigh quickly realizes the pieces don’t add up. When the Seattle field office sends Jack Stephanson to assist her in the investigation, her personal uncertainty skyrockets. Why is it that she forgets to even call her fiance back in Virginia. And Jack seems to know her as well as she knows herself. She’ll have to wait to sort out those feelings, though, because she and Jack only have five days before the cruise ends to solve this case.


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.

My Impressions:

What could be more relaxing and  enjoyable than a cruise to Alaska?  If you are Raleigh Harmon, fun is not even on the radar!  Sibella Giorello has scored another hit with her latest novel, The Mountains Bow Down, featuring the no nonsense FBI agent.   Raleigh is on a working vacation.  She has signed on to be a technical advisor to a movie crew filming on the  cruise ship. Along for the ride are her mother, crystal wielding Aunt Charlotte and Charlotte’s friend, Clair the Clairvoyant.  Charlotte has arranged this trip, and Raleigh is looking forward to some time hiking, rock collecting and sheltering her mother’s fragile mental state.  Unfortunately, Raleigh is called on to really work her vacation when the co-producer is found dead. Everyone from the head of the ship’s security to the husband to the other producer and cast members wants the death ruled suicide. But Raleigh’s instincts and knowledge tell her otherwise.

The Mountains Bow Down is a great mystery.  You’ll never guess whodunit.  But it so much more.  Raleigh is a driven career woman engaged to a man descended from Virginia’s First Families.  There are a lot of obstacles to overcome in their relationship, and Raleigh struggles with her feelings for her fiance.  And then there is the precarious mental state of Raleigh’s mother. Raleigh watches as her mother becomes more and more confused and frightened; frightened even of  her own daughter.

Raleigh is a great character.  She is not perfect, she struggles with her identity as a woman and as an FBI agent. She makes mistakes, and this makes her even more likable.   And you will love Jack, Raleigh’s nemesis from her days with the Seattle office of the FBI.  Not quite a nemesis now, Raleigh has to struggle with her attraction to him as well.

The case is solved but the story doesn’t end.  Raleigh will be back in the next installment The Stars Shine On.  I recommend that you start at the beginning of the series.  And if you have a Kindle or Nook, you are in luck!  Book one,  The Stones Cry Out,is on sale for $2.99.


Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Mountains Bow Down with a blog tour, a Cruise prize pack worth over $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.

To enter click one of the icons below. Then tell your friends. And enter soon – the giveaway ends on 4/1! The winner will be announced at Sibella’s Raleigh Harmon Book Club Party on FB April 5th, 2011! Don’t miss the fun – prizes, books and gab!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

About the Facebook Party: Join Sibella and fans of the Raleigh Harmon series on April 5th at 5:00 pm PST (6 MST, 7 CST & 8 EST) for a Facebook Book Club Party. Sibella will be giving away some fun prizes, testing your trivia skills and hosting a book chat about the Raleigh Harmon books. Have questions you’d like to chat about – leave them on the Event page.

To read more reviews, click here.

(I received a copy of The Mountains Bow Down from LitFuse in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

5 Responses to “Book Review: The Mountains Bow Down”

  1. Brenda March 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    This one was a hard one for me to get into, but once I did I really enjoyed it.

    • rbclibrary March 17, 2011 at 7:08 am #

      me too. but I thought I was just distracted. my husband and #2 son are in England! it got better towards the middle and the ending was a surprise, at lest to me.

  2. Diane March 20, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    I reviewed this book and enjoyed it too. Have a great weekend! :O)

  3. business daily March 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    .Raleighs exemplary service in Seattle opened the door for her disciplinary transfer to be lifted allowing her to return to her home FBI field office in Richmond VA. A civil rights case turns out to be much more complex than anyone thought when Raleigh is forced to go undercover in a drug traffiking case…and things arent any simpler at home.. .Raleigh Harmons life seems as impossible to solve as the high-profile case shes pursuing.

  4. Sibella Giorello March 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Thank you for this nice review. So glad you appreciate Raleigh’s imperfections! 🙂

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