Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review - The Stars Shine Bright

After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.

She’s never felt more alone.

Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiancé wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiancé will make things better—or worse.

Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

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.

This book had so much action, mystery, and the characters pulled you into the story from the first page. Raleigh Harmon is an FBI agent who is having problems with upper management and is assigned to go undercover to a race track where strange things are going on. She assumes the identity of Raleigh David, niece to one of the horse owners. Right away, there is an attempted murder (of Raleigh herself!) and the horses are sick and some are dying. Someone is definitely up to no good.
Raleigh has personal struggles beyond her job. She doesn't like the lying she has to do while undercover, she's having problems with her fiance, and her mother is in a mental institution and refuses to see her. It's a lot for this girl to handle.
I'm a well read, educated woman, but you'll need to have a dictionary handy because the author likes to throw in some words that may not be in your everyday vocabulary. That's fine with me, though. I find I like to have to learn new things even while reading a fiction book.
This was definitely a page-turner. The story was very well written and I never was sure what was going to happen next.  If you enjoy a good mystery, you'll love this book. I did.
You can purchase the book HERE 

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Blessings - Julie

1 comment:

  1. Julie, I'm so glad you enjoyed "Stars." Thanks for reviewing the novel.


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