Book: Storm Track

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Storm Track: A Deborah Knott Mystery

Author: Margaret Maron
Publisher: Mysterious Press

“Hurricanes rarely make it inland as far as Colleton County, North Carolina. When they do, people remember them as events that mark an entire generation. Domestic storms, on the other hand, hit with regularity. But when the scantily clad body of a promiscuous wife is found in a motel, the killing resounds like a thunderclap through the community.

With her handsome cousin a suspect in the murder, Judge Deborah Knott gets personally involved in the case. She soon uncovers a web of secret and illicit affairs that stretches from the African-American church community to Deborah’s own family. Then the murderer strikes again, even as a real-life killer storm rages up the Carolina coast. Hurricane Fran, bearing powers that can alter the landscape forever, will deliver a revelation to Deborah Knott about those closest to her-and a justice greater than man’s own.

Mesmerizing, psychologically complex, and cleverly plotted with surprises and twists, Storm Track is great, powerful fiction…and Margaret Maron at her best.”


When it comes to the weaving of tangled webs, you’ll find none finer nor more deceptive than those on the loom of Margaret Maron’s Storm Track, the seventh entry in her critically acclaimed Judge Deborah Knott mystery series.

Colleton County, North Carolina, is home to Judge Knott, her moonshining daddy (the series opener, 1992’s Bootlegger’s Daughter, swept the Edgar Allen Poe, Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity awards in unprecedented fashion), and more brothers and cousins than hairs on a big dog’s back. Likable young lawyer Jason Bullock lives there too, as does his lovely and—unbeknownst to him—extraordinarily unfaithful wife—an awkward situation all around, which turns even more so when she turns up dead in a local motel, wearing little more than whimsy and a wink:

“Who would kill her, Reid?”
“Hell, I don’t know. Usually you’d say the husband, but Bullock was on the ball field, right? Millard King, too.”
“She slept with Millard King? When?”
He shrugged. “Before me, after me, during me—I don’t keep tabs.”

Clues abound, suspects emerge, and chief among them is the judge’s cousin, Reid; a cad, certainly, but a killer? Judge Knott thinks not and sets out to prove it, as the body count rises and Hurricane Fran commences to lower the boom.

A native North Carolinian, Maron opens a window onto the New South by concerning herself more with her multilayered characters and their intertwined lives than with overstyled prose or plot contrivances. An altogether satisfying mystery, Storm Track will surely propel readers straight through this series and into the prolific Maron’s other series featuring Lt. Sigrid Harald, NYPD. —Michael Hudson

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