Book 9 of my 12 in 12 Challenge for January is set in rural North Carolina in a small town among farmers and tobacco growers. Storm Track by Margaret Maron is a book about a local community and full of detail about everyday life among the local people and particularly among the Knott family and their friends. Deborah Knott is a lawyer who, in the first book of this series Bootlegger’s Daughter, became a judge. This means that she knows the local law enforcement officers well and because she has a certain standing in the community and eleven brothers she gets to know about what is going on. It is useful to have read one or more of the preceding books in the series to get a grip on the characters.
In this book the crime is the murder of a young woman in a local motel. It looks like she was meeting a lover but no one seems to know who he was. As the story develops a hurricane is also expected in the area so there is a sense of urgency in the actions of the characters and a feeling that they need to find the murderer before the storm arrives.
This is excellent writing and a very satisfying crime novel. It probably edges towards the cosy end of the spectrum but there is more depth here than there is in some similar novels. The author considers concepts such as loyalty to family, the meaning of justice, the legacy of prejudice, and what is needed for individual happiness. She also occasionally uses the viewpoint of a young boy caught up in events to cast a different light on what happens.
I have long enjoyed this series and the author’s other books which are set in New York. I found this an enjoyable read. I don’t think that this series is very well known in the UK and it deserves a larger audience in my view.
Maybe give it a try ? And keep reading