Monday, August 20, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright

FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon doesn't always play straight by the book.  As a result of bending rules, she is facing suspension from the Bureau.  While the details of disciplinary action are being ironed out, Raleigh gets the opportunity to go undercover for two weeks at Emerald Meadows, a thoroughbred race track, to investigate what appears to be race fixing.  Once there, Raleigh finds the stakes may be much higher than originally thought, as horses are dying . . . and more.

While she takes on the role as niece of one of the stable owners and struggles to be accepted in the world of horse racing, Raleigh is also dealing with major personal issues.  She misses her father who was murdered years ago, and now her mother is in a mental hospital as a result of a breakdown that came after she learned that Raleigh worked for the FBI.  Raleigh is uncertain about her feelings about her fiance back in Virginia and has difficulty dealing with Jack Stephenson, her only FBI contact during her undercover assignment.

In the middle of such a complicated time, Raleigh is very lonely.  Her trust in God seems to be what keeps her going -- that and her childhood memories of time spent with her father looking at the night sky where the stars shine bright.

The Stars Shine Bright is Sibella Giorello's fifth Raleigh Harmon novel, and is the first that I have read in the series.  It works as a stand alone, but I'm sure some parts of the story would have been easier to follow if I had read the previous installments.  Sibella writes in great detail and gives vivid descriptions of her characters and their surroundings.  Her plot has plenty of twists and turns, keeping the reader interested and involved up to the end.

Sibella Giorello grew up in the mountains of Alaska admiring the beauty and nature that surrounded her. She majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts hoping to learn more about the landscape she loved back home. From there Sibella followed a winding path, much like the motorcycle ride she took across the country, which led to her true love, journalism.

She found herself in Seattle writing for rock-n-roll magazine and earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington before heading south to the land of great stories.

In Virginia, Sibella became a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was there she also met her husband and would hear Jesus whispering her name at a tent revival.

Sibella started writing about Raleigh Harmon as a way to keep her love of story-telling alive while staying at home with her young sons. As a journalist and author, her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. The Stones Cry Out, the first Raleigh Harmon novel, won a Christy award for debut novel in 2008. Sibella now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.

Visit Sibella Giorello online at, Facebook or Twitter.

See what other readers think about The Stars Shine Bright here.

(This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.)

Win a Kindle Fire from @SibellaGiorello in "The Stars Shine Bright" Giveaway!

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