The Stars Shine Bright
Thomas Nelson, Jul 17 2012, $15.99
FBI forensic geologist agent Raleigh Harmon returns to the Seattle office after being suspended without pay for stealing potential evidence (without a warrant) while on an Alaskan cruise ship with her mom (see The Mountains Bow Down). Her boss back in the Richmond office Victoria Phaup, who disciplinary reassigned her to Seattle, wants Office of Professional Responsibility to suspend her for six months before terminating her; instead with the local SAC’s approval her Seattle boss Allen McLeod assigns her to go undercover as the niece of an affluent racing horse owner, octogenarian Eleanor Anderson who claims races are being fixed at Emerald Meadows. Her case agent is Jack Stephanson who reported her illegal activity to OPR.
However as Eleanor shows her niece Raleigh David the ropes, more than just fixed races in which winning thoroughbreds lose occur. Soon some of the horses die. At the same time she worries about her mom who had a nervous breakdown on the cruise and reconsiders whether she wants to marry her controlling Virginia fiancé. Still in spite of knowing she is her family’s breadwinner, Raleigh once again crosses the line of procedue to prevent further killing of horses.
The latest Raleigh Harmon FBI investigation is a terrific undercover thriller in which the protagonist risks her career which is already in peril at a time she needs income to support her mother’s medical care. Insight into Washington State geology is deftly interwoven into the storyline while the horse racing elements provide much of the background. Fans will enjoy this strong entry as the heroine tells Freud she is coming to closure.