Monday, July 7, 2014
Cop Town by Karin Slaughter
3.0 out of 5 stars -- Gritty stand-alone depiction of harassment, racism, homophobia and misogyny in the Atlanta Police Department circa 1974. (read June 28, 2014)
New police recruit, the widowed and beautiful upper crust Kate Murphy, is stunned and nearly ready to quit on her first day of the job. After running the gauntlet of groping hands and leering eyes on her way to the women's locker room, she wonders why she ever signed up for this and figures this will be just one more job failure in her life. The station is all abuzz that morning, however, because of the most recent cop shooting in a serial case that's about to get personal as Kate becomes involved with the investigation alongside veteran officer Maggie Lawson. Officer Lawson also has a brother and an uncle on the force, but that doesn't provide her or the other female cops with any respect. The women are all subjected to abuse and derision while the men drink, graft, and beat down suspects in a climate that is rife with tension and where everyone is suspicious of "the others" who are not "like them." Nobody "different" gets a pass from these male cops and the women are usually left out of the big cases.
Maggie and Kate start looking into the case of the Shooter and discover secrets, lies, and coverups that ultimately lead them right into danger without support from their male colleagues. Is there a place for women in the Atlanta Police Department?
I have read all of Karin Slaughter's previous books and enjoyed the Will Trent series and most of the Grant County novels. She has fantastic writing skills that usually suck me right into the plot and make me care about the characters. I just wasn't that enamored of this novel -- the setting, time period, and tone of the narrative didn't keep me locked to the pages as usual. This is a stand alone and perhaps the start of something new for the author, but I doubt I'd read another featuring these characters or the Atlanta PD in this era. I'm certain that the legion of this author's fans will disagree, but ever since Slaughter "got me" with a plot kicker in one of her Grant County books (you all know which one I'm talking about), I've been less than faithful and her books are hit and miss with me.
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell, and LibraryThing for the ARC to review.