Karin Slaughter shows how two women can do what a bunch of arrogant and racist men couldn´t achieve. And that only because they aren’t able to try new thinking or to think the unbelievable: that one of their own could be the shooter. And exactly that arrogance of the male police officers is what makes you ask if all men back then were such a nasty piece of work – at least when it comes to the police department.

Cop Town*
by Karin Slaughter
Publisher Dell on January 27, 2015
Genre Thriller
Pages 464
Format Paperback
Source Publisher

1970s Atlanta: A time of great change and yet for many the fierce desire to keep things exactly the same is still strong. For women like Maggie Lawson and Kate Murphy every day is a battle. From different sides of the tracks they are united in their determination to be good cops. But they have to fight the prejudice of people like Maggie´s uncle Terry who are convinced a woman´s place is in the home. And all this in a city where 10 cops are killed a year and most of the city is a no-go area - even for their male colleagues. Then Jimmy´s partner is shot dead and Maggie and Kate find themselves caught up in a case that forces them to make choices. Choices that have far reaching consequences – for them, for the police force, and for the community as a whole.
Kate is a bloody beginner as a policewoman and has to go through a rough start. Her male colleagues don´t want women at all in this sector and show that at every chance they get. Sexual harassment is common as well as a blunt and salacious tone. Nothing goes without the permission of the male partners and some things are just impossible for the women to be part of. But when another police officer is shot down, Kate and her partner Maggie begin to do their own investigation. And step by step they get a picture that doesn´t fit what Maggie´s uncle wants the others at the department to think.

The tone is blunt and the writing style a bit edged (which is totally good). Karin Slaughter has a great way of creating new characters, and here new ones in Cop Town are no exception. They have some class, some of them show dignity others are really bad ones and you see what the combination of them can achieve: a wonderful interaction.

Smartphones and computers aren´t invented yet and men and women don´t do the same job. Karin Slaughter shows in Cop Town a society in the seventies which is far beyond from what women are used to having today and what we take for naturally (at least in our society).

Women can´t do anything without the permission of a man. It may seem awkward and strange that a woman can´t do how she pleases, that she needs the permission of a man no matter what she wants. But about forty-five years ago, and in Atlanta, that was completely normal to society. It felt strange but interesting to read about those times, to see how Kate and Maggie cope with it, what ways they find to get what they want.

I had my fun reading it, no doubt about that. The story is logical, has some twists and turns you won´t expect and the psychological finesse was very good.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition on November 9, 2015, by Blanvalet

Karin Slaughter
©Alison Rosa

Karin Slaughter, born 1971, is from Atlanta, Georgia. In 2003 her debut novel Belladonna was published and went straight to the top of the international bestselling lists and catapulted her onto the Thriller-Olympus. She is the #1 internationally bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Will Trent and Grant County series and the instant New York Times bestselling standalones, Cop Town and Pretty Girls. There are more than 35 million copies of her books in print around the world.


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