Book Review: "The Rivers Run Dry" by Sibella Giorello

When Raleigh Harmon, geologist and special agent for the FBI, is suddenly transferred from the Richmond field office to Seattle, she finds herself in strange territory. The Pacific Northwest has a whole different pace than the South does, her new boss seems determined to prove she can't handle the work, and she's desperately trying to keep her mother's sanity from crumbling altogether. But a missing hiker, a ransom note, an underground card game, and a "friend" with deadly intentions all ensure that there's no time for an easy transition. Raleigh will need all her skills and a little help-to keep the missing girl and herself alive.

This was the first book I've read by this author and I will admit I was highly impressed with it. I liked Raleigh's character very much. She's very no nonsense and is a strong female lead. I really liked her name as it's unique and Southern. Her character is not very feminine, there were times when I honestly forgot she was female. Since it was in first person, the reader sees things the way Raleigh does and she doesn't really give off any hints that give away her femininity. There's not really any romantic subplots in this book, which was fine by me. I was glad the mystery was main plot of the book. The suspense build up was done very well, and the storyline felt like it was a good plot for a TV show. I also liked how Raleigh used her geology expertise to help solve the mystery. It's very nice to see a detective be smart and resourceful and not fall into the trap of being stereotyped.

If there was any qualms in the book, I would have to say it is the ending. To me, it felt like it happened rather abruptly and out of the blue. All of a sudden everything was explained and all loose ends tied up without warning. It felt like sort of a let down to just have it end the way it did. I wasn't expecting that ending but at the same time it felt like a predictable bit to explain things. Other than that, I did enjoy reading this book. Even though it's Christian fiction, it's not preachy at all. The characters do attend church, but it's not in your face and it's actually almost an afterthought in the book. Overall the story has strong characters and an interesting plot that makes for a very good read. I am looking forward to going back and reading Giorello's previous book which featured Raleigh and also to any future books by her.

The Rivers Run Dry by Sibella Giorello is published by Thomas Nelson (2009)


  1. Raleigh does sound like a Southern name, but I can't think of any Raleigh's I've known.

  2. I like a good mystery. Although you had qualms about the ending, I may give this one a try.

  3. Have you read her first book, The Stones Cry Out, yet? Wondering if I'm missing something by starting with this one ...


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