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.