A fourth-generation Alaskan who now calls Seattle home, Sibella Giorello often draws from the diverse landscape of the Pacific Northwest in her fiction.
Her mystery series stars FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon, a forensic geologist. Giorello’s fiction is often gritty and poetic but never shies from life’s harsh realities, but there’s always hope amid the struggle.
“I enjoy writing about a forensic geologist who’s also a believer because God wants us to explore the mysteries of science,” she says. “His handiwork, His brilliance, is revealed through nature.”
In the latest Raleigh Harmon mystery, The Stars Shine Bright (Thomas Nelson), Raleigh goes undercover at a horse racetrack. Thoroughbreds are dying, races are fixed, and Raleigh’s personal life isn’t faring much better. She is determined to dig deep and discover the truth, but to do so she might also be digging her own grave.
“I have always been intrigued by things like horse tracks, circuses and elaborate gala events,” Giorello says. “They’re all dual worlds. We see the display, the public part, but there’s also the backstage, where it seems to me the real action is taking place. I’m drawn to what goes on behind the curtain. The racetrack seemed like an ideal place to play with double worlds. All those facades and lies, the track’s and Raleigh’s, versus truth.”
Her goal as a novelist is to tell the truth. “That might sound funny considering I write fiction,” Giorello admits, “but we all know the feeling when we’re reading a story so elementally true, the characters and scenes seem real. That’s what continues to stun me about Jesus’ parables. He’s telling stories, but they’re so true, the words pierce our hearts.”
This article originally appeared in FamilyFiction Edge digital magazine. Click here to subscribe for free!