The critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling master of suspense delivers her first stand-alone novel, a thrilling tale of crime and struggle set in Atlanta in the mid-1970s.
Atlanta, 1974: It's Kate Murphy's first day on the job, and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she's not cut out to be a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can't handle a gun, and she's rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt she'll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind (and a brother and uncle already on the force) - a strategy meant to isolate Kate and Maggie from the action. But the move will backfire, putting them right at the heart of it.
Cop Town is an incredibly atmospheric nail-biter from the author the Huffington Post called an "exemplary storyteller" and "one of the great talents of the 21st century".
©2014 Karin Slaughter (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
It's 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia, and the city is sharply divided by class and ethnicity. The police force is ruled by white men and women and minorities have to fight bigotry, sexism, and "good old boy" politics. Maggie Lawson comes from a poor family of cops, and has been on the force for a few years. Kate Murphy is a widowed Jewish from a rich family who is determined to make it in the world on her own. She has just joined the force, learning the job, while experiencing humiliation and teasing from most of the other policemen. Kate and Maggie find themselves teamed up against great odds as they branch out on their own to catch a serial police murderer.
Though I love Slaughter's writing, I found this book a little disconcerting. I can definitely believe the bigotry of those times, but there were no nice people at all in this book, including Maggie's family, and everyone else involved in this story. I really liked Kate the best, as she had what Jews call hutzpah - (Yiddish) unbelievable gall; insolence; audacity) , and great bravery in many difficult situations. Calling the serial killer " the fox" throughout the story until the reveal at the end, definitely ratcheted up the terror and suspense. Good story but not one I'd want to repeat very often. Still love Slaughter's writing though!!
The audio version added another sense of reality to the story that I definitely believe added a great deal to the emotional feeling of the story. Very well done!!
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
Having just finished three of the best crime novels I've ever read, I never expected Cop Town to be as good, if not better than Mr Mercedes, Nesbo's The Son, and Bombproof.
Cop Town is a gritty story of the first police women to infiltrate the Atlanta PD in the early 70's. Someone called "the shooter" is killing cops at point blank range. The Atlanta PD of the 1970's was a force in turmoil with the integration of blacks and women into its ranks. No rock of bigotry is left unturned as the two main characters must dance around a smothering culture of racism, misogyny, homophobia to find the killer.
There are sophisticated and powerful family systems in place that greatly influence the police work of the two main characters. Karin Slaughter masterfully weaves them into the tale with a depth of emotion I've rarely found in any crime novel.
The reader, Kathleen Early is masterful, bringing every character to life and delivering the perfect pitch to every scene. This performance equals any effort of Ray Porter, Eduardo Ballerini and Will Patton.
Please read Cop Town. It is Slaughter's best work and puts her in rare company.
It's really hard not to like Karin Slaughter, although I'll admit I haven't tried that hard. Her books are just so tight and easy to listen to and Cop Town didn't disappoint.
As an Atlanta resident, it's so interesting to hear the clearly well researched history of the city. The Atlanta I moved back to 8 years ago bears little resemblance to the 1974 Atlanta of this book, but it's a good reminder that a mere 40 years can change so many things. It helps us all remember that fighting the good fight of racism, sexism and homophobia can yield results not in some distant future, but in our own lifetimes.
Like the early story of Amanda Wagner, this book follows the path of a young APD officer as she navigates 1974 Atlanta and the cataclysmic changes that were happening in the city at that time - changes that paved the way for the city I now live in.
If you've never read Karin Slaughter before, this book will send you back to her archive to listen to more. If you've heard all the rest, then you won't be disappointed.
One note on the narrator: While she's perfectly good with characterization albeit a little weak on southern (which I've simply come to expect in media), I'm really surprised that no one has ever bothered to correct her pronunciation of a few of the street names in Atlanta. I've noticed it in every book she's narrated for this author and it always takes me out of the book for a moment. Ponce de Leon has a correct pronunciation (the Spanish way), but only about 10 people out of Atlanta's 6 million use it (and they're either newbies or solely Spanish speakers). In Atlanta, the street is pronounced Ponce (one syllable) de Leon (like the man's name). And Cheshire Bridge Rd. is pronounced Che - sher with no long "i."
I am an eBay seller who listens to approx. a book a day while taking & editing photos of my items. I love a good suspenseful mystery!
One of the best books I've ever listened to, this book is gritty, honest, intense and as one previous reviewer perfectly stated 'GUTSY'! Please keep my headline in mind though because this book probably isn't for everyone.
First off, if you're on the fence because you typically avoid 'Police Procedural' books don't let the category fool you. This book is so much more! As a matter of fact about the only thing I would change is the title which in my opinion should have been "Cop Town: A Novel" because it's that well written.
Second, this is not a 'Will Trent' story, actually it's about as far from it as one could get. Had I read it without looking at the author I would have never guessed it came from K.S..
As much as I loved it I will say that I am not all that surprised by the negative reviews; I believe this is one of those books people will either love or hate. If you're sensitive to the harsh truth of what life was like in 1974 for women, blacks, whites, cops, criminals etc this book probably isn't for you. If you typically avoid books with vulgarity (including the 'f' word, 'n' word etc), violence, racism and bigotry as well as some 'make-you-cringe' (not in a good way) scenarios then again this one probably isn't for you. If on the other hand, used in the right context those things don't bother you and you enjoy listening to challenging, complicated, honest & suspenseful, stories with tough, intelligent characters you will probably love listening to this book as much as I did!
Lastly, not only is the story excellent but Kathleen Early is absolutely spot on as the narrator! A matter of fact as I anxiously await the next book in the Cop Town series I'm off to try and find other books Early has narrated.
The way the story grabs you and throws you back in time and keeps you there. I found myself loving some of the old catch phrases from "back in the day"..."Hey Mamma!" I love the character development and evolvement. At times the story had me so involved I got angry at certain characters and wanted yell.....Simply put Karin Slaughter can take me to 1970's era Atlanta GA anytime and it is always a great trip!
The time and place setting for the storyline. It was like getting in the TARDIS with Doctor Who and going back to 1970 in the deep "at times ugly" south. I grew up in this place and time so I can tell you she got it just right.
Yes. The author can write a great book but if the person reading it isn't talented, it can turn the book to poo. Kathleen Early takes a good book and turns it into a great book and a treat to enjoy. However this time she took a great book and made it supreme.
Policewoman in Atlanta during the early 70's
Simply put, it's a great read (listen). If you have enjoyed the William Trent series, you will love this book.
This book sounds like it was written by someone who heard about Atlanta and started writing from imagination. Having adopted "The ATL" as my second home in the mid seventies, this book doesn't even come close to my experiences. It is full of myths and nonsense and crap that's not even believable. I know this is fiction but even fiction should be plausible. This book is unreasonable and seems as if the author has no experience in life to keep the story from going astray. This novel is unbelievable even if it was set in the fifties or sixties. You have been forewarned!
For the first few hours of this book I really could not get into it. In the end I was surprised with how the turmoil resolved.
Great fem/cop story
Kate, naturally. Most of us have been there, new to a school, or a job, or a neighborhood,
Kate showed great courage.
The trash talk was done so well, and added so much.
Almost did! Yes.
This book is not an easy read. Pretty much each character in this book is a complete asshole. It's full of racism, antisemitism, anti gay, anti feminism and everything else under the sun. It's properly going to drain you to read it.
But it's going to give you a glimpse of how life was in Atlanta in the early 70s and it was really an eye opener for me.
On top of all of the above, it's a really good story and has you read this book fast, even though it's not easy.
I listened to the Audible version of this and the narrator was excellent!
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