I must admit that I was a bit nervous about Karin Slaughter producing a stand-alone novel after years of successful series novels. I needn’t have worried because ‘Cop Town’ is her best book so far and the characters are so good that this could even be the basis for another series.
The story centres around two Atlanta Police Department female Police Officers in the 1970s and anyone who has read Karin Slaughter’s book ‘Criminal’ will know how brilliantly she covers this subject. The people running (practically rather than officially) the Atlanta PD at the time were the white guys. They were anti-female, anti-black, anti-jewish and definitely anti-gay.
Maggie Lawson comes from a tough working class background. Her brother Jimmy and Uncle Terry are both police officers and she has followed them against their wishes. Even her mother wants her to find herself a husband before she gets too old. Uncle Terry is one of the leaders of the ‘good ole boys’ within the police.
Kate Murphy comes from a privileged background but after her husband was killed in Vietnam, she wanted a life and career of her own. Her good looks, class and Jewish ancestry all count against her. Her first day on the job is the day that the 5th cop in a few months has been gunned down by a serial killer known as ‘the shooter’.
The entire police force is focused on finding the guy who has just murdered Jimmy’s partner. The old crew would like the girls to stick to writing parking tickets while they follow the usual approach – find a scapegoat (preferably black) and plant evidence.
But, the girls have different ideas and start following up on the real evidence. They find out plenty of things that they don’t want to know as they work their way towards the killer.
What an excellent book. The characters had so much depth to them that I quickly found myself loving and hating them and wishing that I would meet them again. Uncle Terry was a complete pig (as were most of his mates), Jimmy was a very complicated character, and both Maggie and Kate had me wishing for the best for them.
I’m still working my way through Karin Slaughter’s Grant County and Will Trent series’ but I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Book Published 2014