Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giorello - REVIEWED!

About The Book: (from the Author's site)
After the FBI suspends her for bending rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon wants to redeem her career and re-start her life.

But when the Bureau offers her an undercover assignment, she's forced to take on a double-life. Sent to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh's supposed to find out who's fixing the races. But when horses start dying and her own life is threatened, she realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Downs.

And she's never felt more alone.

Her sole contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who jumps from jerk to genuine friend on any given day. And Raleigh' family support is out of the question. For one, they're off-limits while she's undercover, and her mother stopped speaking to her after a psychotic breakdown sent her to a mental hospital. To add insult to isolation, Raleigh's fiance keeps demanding they start their life together—now—precisely when she's being ordered not to be herself.

With only days left before the track closes for the season, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who's behind it and why, all the while dealing with her fiance and trying to figure out if Jack is friend or foe—or something more.

In the fifth book of the popular mystery series, Raleigh Harmon walks through the darkest night of her soul, and finds herself searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

My Thoughts:
The moment when life seemed to balance on the brink, anticipating an uncontrollable force…They were the moments when the very next thing will change everything forever.” (p. 42)

Once again, Raleigh Harmon is in the middle of a very messy mess. Hanging onto her job by the skin of her teeth, she is assigned to an undercover position playing the role of a rich lady’s niece. She has very little time to uncover what is taking place – to unravel a very real threat on innocent lives. And all along the way, she is struggling with the untruth that has woven its web so tightly around her life that she feels she stands to lose everything - everything that matters anyway.

I have loved Raleigh Harmon’s character since the day I read The Rivers Run Dry. I have love Sibella Giorello’s writing style even more! Listen to this: “My first bite sent garlic waltzing across my tongue, pirouetting with the sage, while the slow-roasted pork and beef stepped forward, luxuriating on my palate until fennel took its final bow.” (p.148) Isn’t that brilliant?! And on page 204 she quotes Mark Twain: “…forgiveness – it’s the flower shedding its fragrance on the heel that crushes it.” Giorello is a master wordsmith, and her books are ones that push everything aside until I can reach the last page! (very contented sigh here!)

The words chosen to weave the story create a very intense read. Raleigh wrestles through some very tough emotional and spiritual issues while trying to prevent a lot of innocent people from dying. Once again, I’m jealous of her eating habits! Man, I wish I could eat like that and stay fit enough to be part of the FBI!! Giorello can certainly make me hungry!! And I just have to say this before I close….the three words that she thought would never come from her mouth?!?! AGGGGHHHHHH!!! You got me on that one!! Brilliant once again, albeit not what I expected!!

And another last thing…the scene where everything kind of comes to confrontation and she has to defend…well I can’t tell you what…but man!!! It is nail-biting!! If you haven’t met Raleigh Harmon…never read Sibella Giorrello….what are you waiting for?!?!

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.

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