Review: Cop Town

Cop Town, Karin Slaughter

Published June 24th 2014 by Delacorte Press

Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Source:e-ARC from NetGalley

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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.

This book was definitely gripping in the beginning.  A young cop, running for his life while carrying his partner’s body – will they live?  Is it too late for his partner?  

Unfortunately for me the mystery was lost in the totally misogynistic setting.  I’ll believe that Slaughter did her research and that this is what Atlanta’s Police was like for women of this time – and OMG they are amazing bad asses for surviving it if so – but the unrelenting sexism, racism, violence and homophobia of this book was just too much for me.  It felt like there was honestly nearly nothing uplifting that happened.  I can take a dark mystery, but give me a little levity please!

The bright side was that yes, Maggie and Kate, the two brave young women on the Atlanta Police Department were able to join together and search for the killer together despite the old white men’s club keeping them down.  I just wish they’d been richer characters that I really could have supported.  They were so downtrodden and there was so much darkness I just could barely root for them.

I was intrigued by the Shooter at first and trying to understand his motivations, but then those too felt too varied.  The resolution felt rushed, leaving the explanations flat for me as well.

Based on the reviews I’ve seen of Slaughter’s crime series I may look for those at the library when I need a thriller- but Cop Town was just not a win for me.  Based on the detail she put into this setting I’d like to try on of her books that’s set in a different time – maybe that would be a bit happier!

Thank you Delacorte Press and NetGalley for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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