Review: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Cop Town

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not effect my review.

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.

I’m a big fan of Karin Slaughter and her Will Trent series, so I was a little disappointed when I found out her next novel was a stand-alone and not the next installment of Will Trent. I should have known better. Of course Slaughter would deliver a well-paced, character driven crime thriller that would completely suck me in until the last page.

Cop Town did remind me a lot of Criminal, a Will Trent book that shares its present day timeline with the 70s. Like Criminal’s 70s storyline, Cop Town focuses on two young female cops trying to not just prove their place on the force, but survive it. With a cop killer on the loose and prejudices running high, Maggie and Kate set out to investigate on their own, below the radar of the good ol’ boys who aggressively dismiss them.

What I really love about Slaughter’s writing is her character development. While the mystery of the cop killer is front and center, the story really focuses on the journey and growth that Maggie and Kate go through. They are two very different women from very different backgrounds, yet they both have personal demons that drive them together. Slaughter does a great job of including enough background information to inform us of their motivations and give us real emotional connections to them without ever detracting from the main plot. I also found the cast of supporting characters to be well developed.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cop Town. It was very well-paced with a perfect mixture of mental investigation and action. I found the conclusion to the mystery to be satisfying with the reveal of the cop killer to be a surprise, yet made sense when looking back through the story. The only things I didn’t really care for were Kate’s relationship with a married man and Maggie’s unresolved relationship – or lack thereof – with her neighbor.  I would recommend this book to fans of Karin Slaughter, criminal novels, and 1970’s enthusiasts.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 4
Overall Average: 4 stars

Cop Town will be available June 24, 2014.

4 thoughts on “Review: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels | Stephanie's Book Reviews

  2. Pingback: Karin Slaughter’s Cop Town – Atlanta – 1974 – A Wild Ride! | Me, Myself, Music & Mysteries

  3. Pingback: Summer of Mystery (Authors) | Stephanie's Book Reviews

  4. Pingback: Karin Slaughter's Cop Town - Atlanta - 1974 - A Wild Ride! - E.K.Karn

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