I love Karin Slaughter. She’s one of those authors whose new releases I always look forward to. Her Grant County series and Will Trent series exemplify crime writing at its finest. So it was with great anticipation that I began her latest novel, Cop Town.
The year is 1974. The place, Atlanta. The story revolves around two female police officers. There’s Maggie Lawson who’s been on the force for a few years and comes from a family of officers. Then there’s Kate Murphy, a rookie fresh out of training. Kate’s not prepared for the outright hostility aimed at females on the force, while Maggie has grown used to it. There’s unrest from every imaginable angle. Racism, sexism, religious bigotry are all at work. The “good ole boy” network is alive and well in Atlanta. Amidst all this turmoil a new danger lurks. Someone is killing Atlanta’s finest, execution style. When Maggie’s brother, Jimmy, almost becomes a victim, the danger hits too close to home.
Although the mystery/crime part of this book was good, it’s the character development and attention to detail that really carried the story for me. The author creates such a vivid, bleak picture of Atlanta during this time period, an era when civil rights and women’s rights were still freshly recognized. It’s hard for us to believe that these conditions ever existed but rationally we know it to be true. The characters are complex and go much deeper than first impressions imply. With the hand of an outstanding author, even some of the most unlikeable characters somehow redeem themselves by the end of the story.
Was this as good as Slaughter’s other books for me? No, but Will Trent and the gang set the bar exceptionally high. Still, it’s a good solid story with enough suspense to pull you in from the first couple of pages. I would love to see this one become the first in a new series.
Buy It Now: Cop Town: A Novel