While North Carolina’s Colleton County judge Deborah Knott (Home Fires, 1988, etc.) waits for a lawyers vs. law-enforcers
softball game to start, a scant half-mile away in Room 130 of the Orchid Motel, big-haired Lynn Bullock unsnaps a sheer-black
stocking from a lacy garterbelt, which someone then wraps around her neck and yanks until she dies. Jason, Lynn’s
up-and-coming lawyer husband who thought she was off antiquing with her sister, seems to be the only man in town who didn't
know his wife played around. Most of her former lovers—and her husband—have the ballgame as their alibi, but who left a tie-
bar and silver pen at the crime scene? Deborah and kin will gather at her daddy's place to wait out Hurricane Fran, while at the
same time married Rev. Freeman will end a true love affair as his son tracks the hurricane's movements for a science-class project
and Lynn's killer busily searches for a black woman driving a white Honda Civic, who spotted him in the motel parking lot and
tried a little blackmail. One more will die and another wind up in Possum Creek (its waters steadily rising) when the power cuts
out, the phones go down, and nature and man go one-on-one, a hundred-year-old oak tree winning out.
Maron, who can make even a dollop of mayo on a canned pear sound tasty, has created such an appealing Knott clan, from
unrepentant bootlegger Kezzie on down, that readers will wish they could marry into it. For accuracy, her hurricane descriptions
rival the Weather Channel's, and nobody's better at showing racial distrust and love gone awry, be they between adults or between
parents and children.