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.
Cop Town is like Cagney and Lacey prequel with a side of Taxi Driver. Beatings, bellbottoms and enough mustaches that Magnum PI would envy, not to mention the “woman, hear me roar” slogans were all the rage in the big cities, but in 1974’s Atlanta, racism, sexism and every type of ism was alive and well. Can the privileged girl next door make it on the mean streets where you don’t know friend from foe (and that’s before she’s even left the station)?
If her first day on the job is any indication, she should have just stayed home. But she doesn’t and rookie Kate Murphy and seasoned vet Maggie Lawson have only each other to rely on. Lawson’s savvy and Murphy’s attention to detail fuels their pursuit of an elusive cop killer.
I loved the dynamic between the two protagonists and the uneasy fellowship they had. It was sort of like Yoda and Skywalker but with more animosity and estrogen. Cop Town had me in its grip pretty much form the get go and kept a nice pace throughout. The action really ramped up in the third act and I couldn’t put it down, staying up until three am to finish.
Action packed, empowering and gritty, Cop Town puts the buddy cop genre on its head. I am glad there is not a hot tub time machine to this Atlanta, but you may never leave your beach chair in this perfect summer read.