Author: Karin Slaughter
Synopsis: 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.
(*This book is an ARC from Netgalley and does not come out until June 24, 2014. I received an advanced copy for an honest review. None of what I say will be direct quotes from the book per request from publisher.)
My review: This is my first Karin Slaughter novel and I know it’s not going to be my last. I was hooked from the first chapter and am still stuck in the book 12 hours after finishing it. Everything that I like in books (plot, characters, and writing) were beyond what I expected.
For me, there were two plots in this book. The first and more noticeable one is to find who the cop killer was. The second and equally important plot was women trying to make it into the police force in the 1970s. The book focuses on Maggie Lawson who grew up with a whole family of male cops and Kate Murphy, a beautiful, born rich woman who has hardly met any cops in her life. Both women had different reasons for joining the force, but both still had a lot of difficulty getting the job and even more difficulty being respected in the job. These two plots worked well together and I truly don’t think that they could work well without the other. Both women were trying to make a name for herself in the force by solving the cop killer crime. The cop killer crime was a way for the women to show they deserve respect. The plot to find the cop killer was twisted and turned all over the place. There were so many times that I thought I solved it just to find that I was way off or I thought I was piecing it together just for something else to come in and it ruined everything I thought I knew. Cop Town was unpredictable which made it for such a good read.
I recently said that I wanted more characters like in Gillian Flynn’s books- female characters that are never described as perfect. Female characters that are people. Slaughter gave me that. Maggie and Kate are nowhere near perfect. They made mistakes and they pissed me off at times. I loved them. I wanted to hug them when they were having a rough day at work. I wanted to protect them from the men on the force. They were people to me because they were written as people. Every character in this book was a person. Everyone had flaws, some more than others, but no one hid their flaws and that’s what I like in a novel. There were some characters that I absolutely hated but that’s because we were supposed to hate them. Every character had their nice moments, but they weren’t enough to sway my opinion. I think that we, as the readers, are supposed to have it ingrained in our brains by the end of the book that in the 1970s racism, sexism, etc were still rampant. We, as the readers, never forget that in the book and I think it’s important to never let us forget that.
The writing was spectacular. As I mentioned the twists and turns in the plot. The characters were written well. The dialogue between any characters was never confusing and it never seemed forced. Cop Town is a gruesome book. If you don’t have a strong stomach, you may have trouble reading this book. The writing made all the gruesome parts vivid in my mind. When I can picture everything that is happening in my mind then that shows me the writing is strong. I think this book was planning on being a standalone, but I would love to see this as a series as well. It has potential to be an awesome series.
Cop Town is everything I look for in a mystery/thriller and I’m going to be buying this as soon as it comes out. (And all of her other books as well)
(Again, this is an ARC and I did not post any direct quotes from the book per request of the publisher.)