The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon Series #3)

( 16 )


Raleigh Harmon's life seems as impossible to solve as the high-profile case she's pursuing.

Closing her assignment with the FBI's Seattle office, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, expecting a warm welcome. Instead she finds herself investigating an ugly cross burning at a celebrity's mansion and standing in the crosshairs of her boss at the Bureau. And the deeper Raleigh digs into the case, the ...

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The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon Series #3)

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Raleigh Harmon's life seems as impossible to solve as the high-profile case she's pursuing.

Closing her assignment with the FBI's Seattle office, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, expecting a warm welcome. Instead she finds herself investigating an ugly cross burning at a celebrity's mansion and standing in the crosshairs of her boss at the Bureau. And the deeper Raleigh digs into the case, the murkier the water becomes . . . until she's left wondering who the real victims might be.

To make matters worse, Raleigh's personal life offers almost zero clarity. Her former confidant is suddenly remote while her former boyfriend keeps popping up wherever she goes. And then there's her mother. Raleigh's move home was supposed to improve Nadine's fragile sanity, but instead seems to be making things worse.

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 a breakthrough will come, bringing with it that singular moment when the clouds roll away and everything finally makes sense.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
FBI forensic genealogist Raleigh Harmon's behavior got her exiled to Seattle. Now that she's returned home to Virginia, she is hoping for some normalcy when she gets caught up in a civil rights case and is forced undercover in a drug investigation. Problems with family, friends, and an old flame further complicate her life. VERDICT Giorello's third Raleigh Harmon novel (after the Christy Award-winning The Stones Cry Out and The Rivers Run Dry) is a gritty, suspense-filled page-turner that will appeal to those who prefer their forensic thrillers with a moral theme.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595545343
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/16/2010
  • Series: Raleigh Harmon Series , #3
  • Pages: 329
  • Sales rank: 1,397,167
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sibella Giorellobeganher writing career as a journalist.Herarticles have won awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer, and she won a Christy Award for her first novel, The Stones Cry Out.Twitter @sibellagiorello,!/SibellaGiorelloAuthor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    3rd in Raleigh Harmon series earns label literary mystery

    The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giroello is the third book in the Raleigh Harmon series about a Virginia FBI agent with a specialty in mineralogy. Raleigh has returned home from her exile in Washington and is assigned a hate crimes case against a high-profile rap star known for his philanthropy. Her boss hates her and regularly throws her scut jobs, including working the phones on a gang task force which leads to more troubles with authority as well as an up close and personal view of the gang members. I fell in love with Raleigh in the first book in this series, The Stones Cry Out, which is definitely a must read to understand the complicated relationships in this volume. Raleigh keeps everyone at arm's length after the murder of her father, which is still unsolved, including God despite her best intentions. The mystery at the heart of the novel is almost overly complex, but some readers will suss out the bad guy early on. But just like TV viewers don't turn in to Bones on a regular basis for the cases, readers will come back again and again for Raleigh's complicated emotions and the strong characters who surround her. Giorello's writing is restrained and occasionally haunting making this more than just your average mystery. It's compelling, enjoyable, and will keep readers coming back for more.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Christian Suspense Novel Not Just for Christians!

    The book is slow to start but gains interest about a third of the way in. After that, I had trouble putting it down! When I first realized that it was a Christian suspense novel I was sure that I wouldn't like the story. I am not a "believer" in religion of any sort but if I had to pick a religion that I believed in the least, it would be Christianity. I was definitely put aback by the characters beliefs in creationism especially. This goes absolutely against everything that I have every believed. I find it hard to believe that anyone who is highly educated in this day and age could believe that there is no such thing as dinosaurs or evolution. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. It's akin to not believing there is a sun or a moon.

    The evolution arguments were thankfully only a few paragraphs though. Once I got past that, I found myself very interested in how different of an outlook on life that the main character Raleigh had from me. I found myself beginning to understand her beliefs instead of just finding differences. She uses her faith, hope, courage and love for humanity to find her way through the trials and tribulations of working on two cases simultaneously. One case revolves around racial intolerance and the other revolves completely around drugs.

    The two cases inexplicably intertwine while Raleigh tries to put together the pieces of the puzzles laid out before her. However, the book doesn't just focus on her work life - her personal life is an ongoing theme of the book as well. She tries hard to help her mother hold herself together while still mourning the loss of Raleigh's father. She is also learning to rely on her heart while an old flame in her life begins to ease his way back into her life. Perhaps she will finally discover what was meant to be. Finally, in a moment of clarity, the "clouds roll away" and Raleigh discovers the answers to the questions she has been trying to answer.

    The end of the book had me looking for more though. Thankfully, this is only the second in a series with another book coming right behind it called "The Mountains Bow Down". This book is set to be released in the Fall of 2010. The character of Raleigh Harmon is strangely compelling and easy to identify with despite the huge differences on world outlook that I have with her. I'm sure I'll be looking for the third in the series when it is released and am most positive that I'll be reading the first in the series long before then. I'd recommend this book to people who are trying to understand other viewpoints as well as those who are already firm believers in Christianity. Even if you are not interested in religion at all, it is quite a good story with twists and turns along the way that will keep you guessing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not something you would expect from a Christian publisher.

    This fiction piece is about a woman named Raleigh Harmon. She is a FBI agent who is investigating a celebrity's "hate" crime. As in many mysteries, there are twists and turns a person would not expect.

    Her faith and not "luck" is what comes into play many times.

    Sometimes I read for pleasure, sometimes I finish a book for the sake of just finishing what I started. I was rather disappointed that Thomas Nelson published this book. Although, there were no curse words, they were implied. I lost a lot of respect and wanted to quit reading, numerous times. There was also a lot of brutality and violence. This book was no way meant for the tender-hearted.

    The story of the book had a lot of history background. In fact, if I could have gotten over the curse words and shocking images from a Christian publisher - I think I would have liked the book.

    Did the book inspire me? In one word, no. This book did not provoke my faith or encourage me in any way. I wish I had seen more encouragement.

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nail Biter all the way! Cozy Mystery Lovers get all the action and suspense they crave without the messiness

    I love a great nail-biting mystery every now and then, however being a bit squeamish I prefer the details to be selective and set the tone and atmosphere of the plot rather than irrelevant gore and such. Though this is my first book by Giorello, she has garnered a devoted reader with an enthusiasm for wholesome, quality fiction. Congrats to a new to me author who has impressed this very picky reader.

    Giorello does more than write an engaging story, she weaves in characters who readers not only identify with but come to consider intimate friends. I look forward to Raleigh's fourth adventure as well as the first and second which I have yet to read. Descriptive and illustrative passages in The Clouds Roll Away set the scene for Raleigh and the "good" cops of Richmond, VA to uncover a gang with mob connections and a dangerous product that could "explode" in their faces. Stay tuned to see how Raleigh and her law enforcement peers manage to not only address some very aged cold cases but connect the dots in recent events that Richmond's elite would rather bury and deny.

    If you haven't yet experienced a tryst with contemporary suspense full of intrigue and appeal for a variety of bibliophiles, Sibella's book is an enticing starter. It seems I have become so ensconced in reading and reviewing that I sometimes find a series midstream without the time to catch up on previous volumes before the tour starts. I am grateful that Sibella's book works well as a stand alone read. This doesn't mean that earlier Raleigh Harmon novels will remain untouched by this reader but I will eventually go backwards to catch the backstory of Raleigh and her career that lead up to this third book. I don't believe any series is best read in any available order but when I'm facing a review deadline I appreciate the skill that allows readers to jump in feet first wherever they may be. I'm sure the earlier two books will fill in gaps that although not key to the plot of this novel would make the experience richer for their contribution and enlighten readers about other facets of the recurring characters.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Raleigh Harmon Has a New Fan!

    When I sat down to read this book by this new-to-me author, I started out a little disappointed. Why? Because, for some reason, it was difficult for me to really get hooked. But, I pushed myself because I feel every book deserves a chance. And, once I reached Chapter 3, things looked up for me and man, was I ever hooked after that! This is book 3 in the Raleigh Harmon Novel series, but, while there is mention of some things that were in the previous books, I was not overly lost or confused. Sibella Giorello mentions these things in a way to bring the reader up to date with the current happenings in the novel.

    That being said, I did become totally hooked on the story and really loved it! The are complex and fit their personalities and rolls perfectly. Raleigh Harmon is a character that just stands out and is one that you root for through out the story. To me, she reminds me of James Patterson's Alex Cross. Yep. She's the Alex Cross of Christian suspense. The message of relying on God with a strong, unwavering faith to overcome anything, including a crime that is confusing as the case keeps getting crossed, shines strongly through Raleigh and can be felt by the reader fully.

    This book has a great look, while written to be a fiction novel, at a serious subject: cross burnings and hate crimes. The research the author did for this novel was outstanding, and, having been raised in Virginia Beach, could picture Virginia being the way that was described in the novel. Virginia is the perfect setting for this novel. It was very interesting to read about this subject. You just wouldn't think that there would be these awful events in the world today, but sadly, there is. It is all portrayed perfectly in this novel, as Raleigh tries to uncover the truth and fight the bad guys.

    Sibella Giorella really surprised me with this novel. She is an author who has made a fan out of me. Her books pull the readers so completely in, that they become a part of the FBI along with Raleigh, hoping the clouds roll away in time to solve the crime. I am definitely looking forward to reading more 5 star work from Sibella when I go back and read books 1 and 2, as well as checking out book 4! Can't wait!

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    definite page turner!!

    Raleigh Harmon has just returned from a transfer with the FBI back to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. On the heels of her homecoming, Raleigh finds herself in an investigation centering around a cross burning at a famous rapper's home. Her boss is pushing her to solve the case as soon as possible and the deeper she digs, the more complicated things become. Raleigh also begins work on a gang task force. The lines between the two seemingly separate cases start to blur with each new development, leaving Raleigh working frantically to uncover the truth. While looking for those responsible, Raleigh is also juggling her widowed mother and an old boyfriend who wants a second chance. Can she solve her cases and manage to not get her heart broken again?

    I had no idea what to expect with this book but I was quickly pulled in. Giorello threw in several unexpected twists, leaving me thinking "no way!" as I read. My only complaint with the story would be the lack of romantic interest. The attraction between Raleigh and her old boyfriend is told in such cut and dry manner that I found myself wanting to read about those tender moments. Other than that, it's a definite page turner that will keep you guessing.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    Sibella Girgello is a new author to me. I will be reading more of her work.

    I understand that this is the third Raleigh Harmon book. I can assure you this is a stand alone book because I did not feel handicapped at all not having read the other two. But the more I did read this one and got involved with Raleigh I realized I will have to find the other two and read them, just got get a little more contact with her.

    I enjoy novels with multilayered plot lines and The Clouds Roll Away does not disappoint on this feature either.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Some people don't want any change to come to the South!

    There are some that live in the South that like things just the way that they have always been. The old historic plantation houses and land, completely restored and the people living there, need to share in that same level of keeping appearances.

    Yet when RPM, an up and coming rapper, takes over the Laurel plantation, he soon is provided with plenty of messages to let him know he is not welcome.

    FBI agent Raleigh Harmon's just returned from Seattle after being sent their on disciplinary action, when she is given the case involving a cross burning at Rapland, the property of rapper mogul RPM. Taking a soil sample and having it analyzed, reveals that this isn't a standard racial threat. Someone is using high grade World War 1 chemicals of mustard gas and lewisite. Whoever used these chemicals wanted to make sure that cross burned.

    As Raleigh begins her investigation her mother has plans for her personal life, reuniting her with her former boyfriend Demott Fielding, one of the most wealthiest families in Virginia. He immediately takes an interest in her while avoiding his sister Mac's upcoming wedding.

    As all the evidence comes together, soon Raleigh begins to discover that some in the town are willing to risk everything to keep things the way they always have been, even if it means murder.

    I received The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello, compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and inhaled every page. I love the way she uses Raleigh's character as a strong Christian woman who isn't afraid of dealing with her painful past and uses her faith to get her through this difficult case along some racial lines. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars, and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves Christian Crime/Suspense Fiction books with strong leading female characters.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    strong police procedural

    With her mother Nadine's mental state tottering, FBI agent Raleigh Harmon is working out of her hometown Richmond, Virginia office. However, her latest boss makes it clear that she is not wanted at this field office.

    Her supervisor assigns Raleigh two impossible cases to solve within a month. Each is convoluted but Raleigh gives her best starting with the burning of the Cross civil rights Federal hate crime at Rapland and her other inquiry into a drug case. As time begins to run out, Raleigh expects another transfer, but being tough she refuses to quit. Instead her forensic geologist skills soon have her investigating an even bigger crime when her two cases converge.

    The two Rs (Raleigh and Richmond) combine into a strong police procedural as the former depending on her faith to keep her going. She refuses to quit while working the historical mansions (owned by celebs) and the mean streets. The investigations are terrific as Raleigh is left out there by herself to fail while the evolution vs. creation argument is deftly handled. Her personal life is so smoggy from her former boyfriend, those she trusts and more so those she distrusts inside the agency, and her mom. Readers who enjoy a mentally tough female cop will want to read Raleigh's Richmond cases.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Clouds roll away strangely

    Sibella Giorello's The Clouds Roll Away is a suspense novel revolving around Raleigh Harmon. This book is a sequel to Giorello's last The Rivers Run Dry. I haven't read that book but want to read, however this doesn't block the understanding of characters and story of this novel.
    Raleigh Harmon is a FBI agent who excels in Forensic skills. After completing a project in Seattle, she returns to her home in Richmond, Virginia only to discover a new chaos in her life. She finds a horrible cross burning at a celebrity's mansion and has to deal with a new case. Her boss got her own ego problems and keeps on creating more problems for her. She has a personal life with lots of troubles too. Her mother is mentally ill; she has to deal with her ex-boyfriend on every step. Her skills and her faith are her only arsenal to get out of all these.
    The novel is written through Raleigh Harmon's perspective which adds up to know her state of mind. As the story unfolds lot of characters with their own secrets gets involved making this novel a good thriller. This book comprises of many scientific explanations making it more realistic and educational. The only weak part about the book is multiple story lines which are loosely bonded. Also this book is too garrulous.
    On final note, this novel is a good page turner and I am looking for its sequel The Mountains Bow Down.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello

    The Clouds Roll Away

    Sibella Giorello

    Thomas Nelson Publisher

    Straight out of Virginia comes a story infused with love, murder, suspense, and mystery. It's easy to place yourself in the main character, Raleigh Harmon's shoes. Raleigh is an FBI agent and has moved back to her home state of Virginia. Right at the beginning of the novel there is an unexpected event leading to a civil rights case that forms the foundation of the story. This novel will have you wanting to read more.

    I found the novel to be very suspenseful. I was constantly wanting to find out what was going to happen next from the mysterious murders, to DeMott, a character who is in love with Raleigh and constantly wants her to see too, that she loves him. This novel has great flow. I could easily relate to Raleigh as I am also from the South. It was extremely easy to place myself in her shoes. The plot plays out nicely in this book and doesn't take an eternity to get to, which I love. I believe it accurately displays Southern culture, dialogue, history, landscape and diversity all while mystery is unfolding.

    I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys an easy, flowing, encouraging and suspenseful read.

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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    Posted November 12, 2012

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    Posted February 27, 2011

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    Posted January 5, 2013

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    Posted March 1, 2011

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