Maron has done it again. The latest book in her Judge Deborah Knott series takes hold of the reader right away and doesn't let go until the thrilling end.

Deborah is excited about her future with her new husband, sheriff's deputy Dwight Bryant. But the first month of their marriage already brings problems. Dwight receives a phone call from his 8-year-old son, Cal, that sends him from North Carolina to Virginia. He discovers that his ex-wife, Jonna, left Cal alone for a whole night, but before he can confront her, she steals the boy away while Dwight is sleeping. Dwight must track them down before trouble strikes.

Maron's latest is well written and very entertaining. While Deborah's family is colorful and extremely enjoyable, it's nice to see Dwight and Deborah away from them and alone together. The ending is a complete surprise, and the new secondary characters are excellent. The repercussions of the events in this book will be around for some time, and it will be interesting to see how they play out. (Aug., 323 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Robyn Glazer