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The Waves Break Gray: #6 (The Raleigh Harmon mysteries) Kindle Edition
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Even though it has been several years between books for readers, not much time has passed for Raleigh. However, she has experienced quite a bit of character growth. A hallmark of great writing is character development and Sibella has done a wonderful job molding Raleigh’s personality. Throughout this series, Raleigh has mellowed, but she’s still kept her fire and intensity. She’s still stubborn, but she’s also learned when to bend. Her hurt remains genuine and her love for her family real and pure. Raleigh is truly a remarkable character which leaves the reader wanting only good things to come from her messy life.
I’ve probably mentioned in every one of my reviews of this series, how much I appreciate the way in which Sibella handles the mental illness storyline. Raleigh’s mom is so broken, but she has handled it with amazing grace. The scenes that take place in the mental hospital are truly heartbreaking—not only for Raleigh, but for the reader experiencing the fractured minds of the patients. These emotional scenes give a real sense of how helpless the family feels and how disconnected the patients are. I love how Sibella continues to develop this portion of the story by showing both sides of the struggle with an abundance of grace and compassion.
As expected, the mystery is fun and intriguing. It’s not completely surprising who all is involved, but it’s not obvious either. I enjoyed seeing how the different pieces fell into place and as always Raleigh’s investigations are interesting and at times a little tense. There were a couple of minor parts I would have liked better clarified, but overall, I’m very satisfied.
I haven’t been particularly happy with Raleigh’s romance decisions, but I’m starting to warm up to Jack. It helped that this book softened him just a bit and the reader got to see a different side to his personality. But it was also nice to see Raleigh begin to understand DeMott’s perspective too. Combined, these two changes help to make the budding romance more acceptable.
I thorough enjoyed “The Waves Break Gray” and was sad to see it end. I love the Raleigh Harmon series and I do hope that it will not be another four years before the next book. Raleigh’s story is far from being over and I look forward to many more books in this series. Hopefully, one day, she’ll eventually solve the murder mystery that’s closest to her heart.
Raleigh is a complicated person with a complicated life, personally and professionally. In her career as a forensic geologist, she examines soil samples from crime scenes to process and provide evidence in criminal investigations. She’s great at putting together the puzzle of what turns up in the soil and what she discovers in interviews with people associated to the crime. She is absolutely driven to achieve justice, with a lot of compassion and empathy for victims.
I sense that Raleigh wishes she were as adept at figuring out the puzzle of her own life. Like many working women, Raleigh struggles to find the balance between the demands of her profession and the needs of her family. Except, in Raleigh’s case as a single woman, her family is her mentally ill mother. Raleigh is devoted to her mother, and walks a tightrope to maintain some sort of relationship with her and make sure that she has the care she needs. The author handles this theme very skillfully. She doesn’t sugarcoat the heartbreaking effects her mom’s condition has on Raleigh, but neither does she paint her mother as a villain. You care about both of them, and at the same time, feel the weight of the disease.
This is not to say the book and these characters are gloomy. Far from it. Raleigh has a way of making people care about her, and despite the events and details in her stories, I’ve always found them to be hopeful. And, there’s definitely the hope for romance!
You can enjoy this book even if you haven’t read any of the previous books in the series. But you’ll do yourself a favor if you start with “The Stones Cry Out” and read them all.