Sunday, April 19, 2009

Review: The Rivers Run Dry - Great Suspense

The Rivers Run Dry
By Sibella Giorello
Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 9781595545336
324 Pages

What a great mystery! The Rivers Run Dry was the first novel I’ve read written by Sibella Giorello; however, I’ve already ordered her first novel, The Stones Cry Out. Enjoying forensic novels, I was pleased to see a new area. The main character, Raleigh Harmon, is a forensic geologist.

The Rivers Run Dry is set in Seattle during a drought and, of course, the story takes place outdoors, in this case, in the mountainous forest. A young girl, who enjoys hiking, disappears and the local police have the case. However, the VanAlstynes, being wealthy and having important friends, believe their daughter, Courtney was kidnapped and want the FBI involved.

Courtney’s roommate, Stacee, believes she might have gone hiking since they have a competition between them and she felt that Courtney had tackled Cougar Mountain, especially when they found her car there. And then finally a note from the kidnapper was received.

But the kidnapper specified that Raleigh was to be the one who brings the money! Why?

During the investigation, personal secrets were revealed, as is often the case, it was discovered that Courtney was a gambler, that Mr. VanAlstyne was not her real father, and that Stacee was perhaps not innocent of wrongdoing. The intertwining scenarios result in a suspenseful whodunit that requires constant reconsideration of the facts. But not even Raleigh had a clue as to what had happened and who had taken Courtney—not even after she had followed the geological clues and had discovered where Courtney was, alive!

The story surrounding Raleigh’s personal life, living with her mother and an aunt, adds much to round out this novel as we learn about her mother’s issues with mental health and how she becomes involved with a soup kitchen. In many ways Raleigh’s story is just as intriguing as the mystery with which she is working!

For those of you who are in a reading group, the book has a lengthy set of interesting questions to ponder and discuss.

Sibella Giorello’s writing style has a literary flavor that pulls readers into her descriptive narratives of the land in which Raleigh now finds herself. She challenges readers with many options and twists, and has created characters worthy of the strong feelings we can enjoy, loving or hating them! Readers will be held in suspense through to the end! Don’t miss The Rivers Run Dry!

G. A. Bixler

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