Book Review: Cop Town

Cop Town
Published By: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Page Count: 416
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult - Mystery/Thriller

Cop Town was a slightly unusual book from Karin Slaughter. It shared some similarities with Criminal, which I whole heartedly welcomed. I really enjoyed the historical setting, and I found it really interesting to think how difficult it must have been for the first women to join the police force. 

 Through the eyes of Kate and Maggie, we learned about the motivations of some of these groundbreaking young women, who most would dismiss to the secretarial pool. I really enjoyed following Kate's struggles to make something of herself, when all around her, including her fellow women, were expecting her to run home in tears, never to appear again. She wore the ill-fitting uniform, she bore the nicknames, and she came out kicking ass. 

I really enjoyed how she and Maggie didn't just accept the conclusions of the male detectives, when a police officers was shot down. the ladies followed the evidence, sometimes putting themselves at risk, and the case developed in some really interesting ways. 

 I also appreciated reading through the eyes of the murderer - I find it really ramps up the excitement as you can feel him stalking his next victim, as the cops fumble about in the dark with ill fitting theories and only half the facts. 

 This was much better than Unseen, Slaughter's last offering. In Cop Town there was no burden of character history fighting for page time; this is a true detective novel - the investigation took centre stage, it was gripping and socially intriguing. A fine return to form!

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.