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Storm Track [Mass Market Paperback]

Margaret Maron
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 2001
Judge Deborah Knott returns in this mystery that unfolds as Hurricane Fran hits Colleton County, North Carolina. When a local attorney's wife is murdered, and as her numerous lovers scurry for cover stories, the judge begins her own investigation and finds a tangled web of extramarital affairs and secrets linking half the county.

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Product Description

From Amazon

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Judge Deborah Knott of the Colleton County (N.C.) District Court is one of the most delightful and original of contemporary amateur detectives. The youngest of 12 children--and the only girl--she knows everyone in the county and is never shy about poking her nose in all manner of suspicious happenings. Then she sits readers down for a cosy chat about her adventures, as though they were old friends. In the series's seventh novel (Homes Fires), when promiscuous Lynn Bullock is found strangled in the Orchid Motel wearing black lace underwear, suspects include several local men as well as the deceased's attorney husband, Jason, and Deborah's womanizing cousin Reid Stephenson. But Deborah saw all of these men playing softball at the time of the murder. The judge helps investigate the crime, but soon she has to confront another killer--ferocious Hurricane Fran, fast approaching from the coast. Maron immerses the reader in the down-home, inbred world of the rural South, where intertwined family histories are common knowledge and some old-timers, like Deborah's unrepentant bootlegger father, still live by obsolete customs. Colleton County also has a growing population of black and female professionals, as well as spreading residential development to accommodate suburbanites from the coastal cities 150 miles away. One of Maron's many skills is her ability to weave into her story the social changes coming to this region with the speed of that hurricane. Agent, Vicky Bijur. Mystery Guild main selection. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Maron writes a good but not a great read April 6 2000
Hurricane Fran is heading north towards Colleton County, North Carolina, leaving citizens concerned with its potential impact. However, before the storm hits, someone kills Lynn Bullock, wife of an attorney. Better known by most of the locals as The Tramp, Lynn was found dead in a motel room.

Any number of males including the victim's spouse could be the killer. However, law enforcement officials suspect Reid Stephenson committed the crime. Reid's cousin, Judge Deborah Knott, knows that her beloved relative did not murder Lynn. To prove his innocence, Deborah begins her own investigation, but not before a second brutal killing occurs. As events spiral out of control, the hurricane arrives to cause even more havoc.

In spite of the raging storm and series of murders, the latest Judge Knott tale is more of a character piece that deeply looks into the social behavior and interrelationships of various protagonists, especially the extended "Knott" clan. Though the who-done-it is straightforward, the plot remains entertaining as the audience gains insight into Judge Knott and kin. Margaret Maron has another triumphant relationship mystery that will send new fans seeking other Judge Knott novels and the author's wonderful Sigrid Harald books.

Harriet Klausner
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Denouement Dec 18 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book abandoned in the departure area of an airport and picked it up. I have never read any of Maron's book and had a few hours to kill, so I gave it a whirl. I had a hard time getting into the story at first, most likely due to the fact that I was unfamiliar with any of the characters. I was eventually sucked into the plot, and I soon found myself rushing to find out who done it. The denouement left me totally unfulfilled, which is a great shame. Far too many questions are left unanswered. How did the killer know she would be registered at that hotel under that name? Was the crime premeditated? Who was she going to meet that evening? Without giving away the ending, I don't want to ask more questions in this forum. Suffice it say there are many more unanswered questions. A story that builds in excitement with the strength of the approaching hurricane, the ending provides the reader with no more than a puff of air from a far-off ceiling fan! Boo. Hiss.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Sept. 15 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book on a recent plane trip. I've been reading Maron's Deborah Knott books since the beginning of the series and this is one of the better ones. I don't like the ending, though. It seemed too easy. One of the charms of this series how Maron talks about Knott's large family. You're actually able to tell her 12 brothers apart! And there are a few poignant passages about Knott's mother, who died when she was a teenager. In fact, the only book in the series that I really didn't enjoy was one that didn't discuss her family. It is called Killer Market and it is about the North Carolina furniture market. Anyway, this is a good book. It's not high literature, but it's not trying to be. It was entertaining and it gave me something to do during a boring plane ride (and it's nice that we have boring plane rides, isn't it?).
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3.0 out of 5 stars mild storm April 5 2000
By A Customer
I have been a fan of Margaret Maron for years--beginning with her NY series--and now always preorder the Deborah Knott volumes. While certain parts of the story were well up to her best, especially the storm watching and writing minister's son, I was disappointed with the lack of growth in our knowledge of the large Knot family. There were excellant scenes with Kezzie, the daddy of the clan, but the others including cousin Reid--the maybe suspect--seemed very shallow. The mystery itself was OK but predictable, although I reread a couple of key pages several times and do not yet feel that the ending "reasoning" tracked. I would recommend this book as a good diversion read but not a great one like so many of her others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Margaret Maron June 16 2000
Margaret Maron has proven to be a reliable author and this book is a worthy addition to her Deborah Knott series. While a hurricane is raging miles away on the North Carolina coast, a young woman is murdered in a motel room. She was known to have been an unfaithful wife and had several lovers so there are no lack of suspects. As usual Deborah's large extended family plays a part in the book, especially her nephew Reid who is a suspect. We see a lessening role for Kidd who has been Deborah's lover in the past several books. As always the North Carolina setting presents a pleasing background for this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Maron's best Nov. 22 2003
Storm Track takes place as a hurricane bears down on Colleton County. The stories of a minister having an affair with a local attorney, the murder of an unfaithful wife, and the approaching hurricane weave together, resulting in murder, attempted murder, and possible scandal.
I liked the way Maron wove together her ending - without a fairy-tale happy ending, but instead a mature view of life's inevitable compromises. It was a satisfying and mature conclusion.
Excellent book, highly recommended.
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