The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giorello

Raleigh Harmon finds herself in a bit of a jam after solving the murder on the cruise. Her mother is in a psych ward and she is undercover in the same city. While you do not need to have read the first books in the Raleigh Harmon series, it helps just a bit so you can get all the nuances. 

I quite enjoyed this novel. I did, however, get rather tied of Raleigh having such a horrendous time with lying, always getting sick at her stomach over a lie. Remember, she's an FBI agent, and she's undercover. Her whole life has been a lie, especially her engagement to a man who is not even close to being a soul mate. 

Giorello does a wonderful job with story, suspense, and the mystery. I do have a bit of a problem with the back story, though. I completely understand the logistics of storytelling when the author sets up a scenario for conflict, and the backstory continues the thread between books in a series. It’s the basic soap opera tactic. The Harmon stories do not need this tactic (or as much of it as Giorello writes in). I’m a lover of less is better. And in this book, so much is spelled out that you’ve already guessed from the last one. You are thinking… “Great granny, Harmon, when are you going to wise up?”

So, I give it 3 out of 5 stars. The story is good, at time funny, and characters are very believable. But, it isn’t my favorite one Sibella Giorello has written.  

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 Downs.
Yet 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 fiancĂ© 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 fiancĂ© 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.

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