Cop Town

Cop Town

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Karin Slaughter, author of the bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as "one of the best crime novelists in America" ( The Washington Post ). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.
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.

Praise for Cop Town
"Karin Slaughter is simply one of the best thriller writers working today, and  Cop Town  shows the author at the top of her game--relentless pacing, complex characters, and gritty realism, all set against the backdrop of a city on the edge. Slaughter's eye for detail and truth is unmatched. . . . I'd follow her anywhere." --Gillian Flynn
" Cop Town proves Karin Slaughter is one of America's best writers. . . . She pulls her readers into a twisted tale of mystery and keeps them fascinated from start to finish." -- The Huffington Post

"Stunning . . . Karin Slaughter breaks new ground with this riveting story. If you haven't yet read her, this is the moment." --Michael Connelly

"Compulsively readable . . . will have your heart racing." -- O: The Oprah Magazine
"Intense . . . engrossing . . . evocative . . . [Karin Slaughter's] first stand-alone novel [has] a gritty, action-packed plot and strong, believable characters." --Associated Press
"Slaughter graphically exposes the rampant racism, homophobia, and misogyny of cop culture in the 1970s. . . . Winning leads, the retro setting, and a riveting plot make this one of Slaughter's best." -- Booklist (starred review)
"Superb . . . explosive . . . [ Cop Town ] is sure to win over readers new to Slaughter's work while reminding old fans of her enormous talent." -- Library Journal (starred review)
"Evocative writing . . . amazing characters . . . with edge-of-your-seat suspense and a riveting plot . . . Slaughter's first stand-alone book is a knockout." -- RT Book Reviews
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 2014.
ISBN: 9780345547491
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 402 pages : map ; 25 cm.


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Dec 02, 2019


Jul 04, 2019

I honestly wasn't sure about this one, but since it was one of only two Karin Slaughter books available at the library, I decided to give it a go. I had to keep reminding myself that this story takes place in the 70's, especially with regard to the interactions Kate has with one of the male characters. However, with regard to some of the other aspects of the story I am sad to say that not much has changed.

This book was published in 2014, but sadly it easily reflects the issues faced by anyone who is not a cis, straight, white man today. The story was a bit slow in the beginning, but I find it reads like many of the gritty cop films I enjoy. I was hoping that it would not be one of those cheesy endings where everything is tied up in a bow and everyone goes out for pancakes (nothing against pancakes at all). But there is nothing tidy about how this story turns out and I love Karin Slaughter for that.

Nov 22, 2018

I gave up on page 34 (only 364 pages short of finished). First, Slaughter had a woman from an avidly racist family smoking Kools in 1974, although only 2% of Kools were ever bought by white people, and had the woman picking tobacco out of her teeth, even though Kools were lifter cigarettes by the 70s. Then, she has a character look through her "translucent" shower curtain and describe what she see in the other room in great detail. I have a stack of well written books to read.
Sometimes I put up with the excess descriptions and the errors she makes because she is so young, but if Slaughter can research the first draft lottery in excessive detail, she could take one minute to look up Kools and 30 seconds to look up the definition of translucent.

JCLHilaryS Jun 20, 2018

A stand alone novel that focuses on women cops in Atlanta in 1974. There is strong character development of the main women , Kate and Maggie, which makes for an enjoyable read. I can tell that Slaughter did quite a bit of research on various angles, and her portrayals of the hostile environment for the women on the force is spot on. While some readers may object to strong language or sex, it provides a realistic portrait of cop life, and attitudes of the 70's.

Nov 01, 2017

It was pretty good! Just like her other novels, it kept me on my toes. It was hard for me to put the book down. The book is great, but it’s not her best. If you like any of her other books, chances are you will enjoy this one. Especially if you like strong female leads.

Apr 26, 2017

I barely read 50 pages.......did not find the writing worthy of any more of my time, and the gratuitous bad language and sex is just not my bag......will probably not pick up another book by this author as there are many better ones available.

Dec 18, 2016

Returned unfinished. Author used stupid language.

ChristchurchLib May 08, 2016

In 1974, Kate Murphy finds herself way out of her depth as a rookie Atlanta cop. Raised on the wealthy side of town, she's been given a uniform that's too large and teamed with blue-collar Maggie Lawson. Neither woman gets any respect -- not even Maggie, whose brother and uncle are cops -- but they soon join forces to investigate unofficially when no one else will listen to their ideas about the serial killer who's been targeting police officers. This compelling stand-alone novel by veteran author Karin Slaughter provides a fascinating glimpse at the 1970s, especially when it comes to addressing sexism and racism.

Jan 23, 2016

Rate this XX - foul language; explicit sex (all kinds) - glad I don't live in Atlanta

Nov 25, 2015

Probably one of my 2015 Top Ten Reads. I finished "Cop Town" this morning, which meant putting aside all important tasks so I could work my way through nearly 100 pages to the book's explosive ending. Surprisingly, this wasn't the twistiest thriller I've ever read? Nor was the "bad guy" the most interesting I've come across in the suspense genre. Still, I could not put the book down.

Slaughter is a master of character development, and she tends to lean towards creating multifaceted characters who spend her novels struggling with their own inner demons as they face the worst evils of society. This is a common thread through both her Grant County and Will Trent books. So it's not surprising to see it in this stand-alone novel.

"Cop Town" is by far the grittiest, most gut-wrenching book I've read from her. In it, Slaughter explores the integration of women into the Atlanta Police Department in the 1970s. I know she did a lot of research and that the story she wrote is a strong reflection of the times that were. And man, were they awful. The male cops were chauvinists, and the racism and homophobia of the time was enough to scare anyone from the police force. I can't imagine what drove women to want to work in such a hostile environment, or where they found the strength to stick it out. But I am grateful for what they went through. Thankful to those who stuck it out and didn't give up, despite repeatedly having the door slammed in their faces.

I won't delve into the plot too much; it's certainly highly engaging. But ultimately this book's most intriguing feature is the women in it. Maggie Lawson and Kate Murphy, the novel's protagonists, are some bad-ass women. (I also have a special appreciation for the tough-as-nails, Gail Patterson, who added a surprising blend of horror and humor to the story). I am happy that Slaughter didn't make any of these ladies saints. They're flawed and not always terribly likable, but that certainly made for a more interesting read because they weren't always making the "right" decisions. Slaughter's subtle exploration of women's relationships, particularly in the work place, was also quite fascinating. There was a lot of backstabbing, but also many surprisingly touching moments when Slaughter illustrated how the women managed to work as a team to survive the harshness of their workplace.

I don't know if Slaughter intends for this to be a series, but I wouldn't mind following them on some more of their adventures.

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jozicapp Jul 01, 2017

jozicapp thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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