FBI agent and forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia in time for Christmas. But instead of goodness and light, the season takes a sudden dark turn. Somebody burns a cross on the lawn of a high-profile celebrity. When Raleigh starts hunting down the perpetrators, the case only grows murkier. And there's no peace at home, either. Her mother's fragile sanity is cracking and her old boyfriend DeMott wants to re-ignite their flame. As the threads of the case begin crossing and double-crossing, Raleigh is forced to rely on her forensic skills, her faith, and the fervent hope that the singular moment will come -- the tiny sliver of time when everything suddenly makes sense, and the clouds roll away.
Winter rode into Richmond on the chattering breath of the Atlantic. Each year the season blew itself into existence. The ancient elms crystallized and frost crocheted the birches into lace doilies. On this particular December morning, with a bright sun overhead, I drove out New Market Road past fields that glistened like crushed diamonds. For this moment, my hometown looked cryogenically frozen, preserved for future generations to discover Richmond's wide river, verdant soils, and the plantation lifestyle forged through generations -- gone tragically, humanly awry.
Beautifully written with exquisite descriptions, Giorello's mystery also features well-developed characters, such as a rapper who plays classical music on a cello to relax. The themes of redemption and faith rediscovered are subtly integrated into the story. This is the third title in journalist Giorello's excellent Raleigh Harmon series, following The Stones Cry Out (2007) and The Rivers Run Dry(2009). Libraries will want all three.
—Booklist, Starred Review
The clever plot twists will have readers riveted from the start. Tough, edgy Raleigh Harmon and the city of Richmond are beauties with endearing qualities that are hard to resist. Fans of Sue Grafton and Tim Downs should add Giorello to their favorites list.
—Romantic Times, 4.5 stars
Why Sibella Wrote The Clouds Roll Away:
There are many indelible impressions of Richmond in my mind, planted there during my fourteen years working as a reporter. Some of those images are beautiful -- the landscape, the storied colonial history, the graciousness of the South. But others parts are unsettling -- the repercussions of the only war fought on American soil, the continuing strife between races. The Clouds Roll Away was written as my Valentine to the wonderful city that opened its arms to me, revealing its glory and challenge and wonder.
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, and writes the Christy-award winning series about FBI agent Raleigh Harmon. For more information, go to http://www.sibellagiorello.com