Published by Cornerstone, Random House on June 19th 2014
Atlanta, 1974. As a brutal killing and a furious manhunt rock the city, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the police force will also be her last. For life is anything but easy in the male-dominated world of the Atlanta Police Department, where even the other female cops have little mercy for the new girl.
Kate isn't the only woman on the force who is finding things tough. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When Maggie and Kate become partners, and are sidelined in the search for the city's cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach boiling point.
With the killer poised to strike again, will Kate and Maggie have the courage to pursue their own line of investigation? And are they prepared to risk everything as they venture into the city's darkest heart?
When I was a teenager, thrillers particularly police procedurals were books of choice. As the years have passed I’ve stuck to other genres but on a whim I picked up COP TOWN and it reminded me of why I loved this type of novel. Compelling, gritty and real – COP TOWN is undeniably an engrossing read.
It’s 1974 and the city of Atlanta is a hotbed of racial tension, gruesome violence that its inhabitants are almost numb to and cops who are as corrupt as the criminals they arrest. For a female cop it is especially brutal as sexist taunts and groping hands are a regular occurrence from their colleagues. On the day another cop is gunned down by a suspected serial killer, Kate, a rookie cop and Maggie, determined to prove herself in the eyes of her police brother and uncle, are paired together and immediate shoved aside in the investigation. Forced to follow their own leads, Maggie and Kate must find the courage and power within to stand up to their oppressors in the force and fight for justice.
COP TOWN is not an easy read, honestly at times it was emotionally draining as the hits kept coming at a relentless pace – the hits being the misogynistic abuse endured by the female characters in the book even from other female characters. It was horrifying to think that such behaviour was the norm and let’s be real it still goes on but thankfully at not such a brutal level and so unashamedly open. This is a very character driven novel and considering the characters aren’t particularly likeable makes for an interesting reading experience. I was captivated by the social dynamics explored by Slaughter both sexually and racially and enjoyed that more than the actual plot to discover who was the cop killer.
The pacing of this novel is great, I thought it chugged along nicely for the most part but towards the end I felt the book kind of fell apart. It sped up too quickly and the writing seemed sloppy and the ending predictable. It was disappointing considering how water-tight the plot and how compelling the writing had been up to that point.
Overall I thought this was a gripping and atmospheric thriller however I wish it ended on the same level of assured story-telling it began with.