Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 464
Release Date: June 24, 2014

Atlanta, 1974.


As a brutal killing rocks the city, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the police force will also be her last. For life is anything but easy in the male-dominated world of the Atlanta Police Department.


Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who is finding things tough. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes.


When Maggie and Kate become partners, and are sidelined in the search for the city’s cop killer, they decide to pursue their own line of investigation. But are they prepared to risk everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart?

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Cop Town is, if I’m not mistaken, my last full length Karin Slaughter novel. I stumbled upon it after not reading of novel of hers for a couple of months. Like most Slaughter novels, Cop Town focuses heavily on the main characters. Though, Cop Town focuses on their difficulties navigating the Atlanta Police Department in 1974.

A quick note on trigger warnings. As with all Slaughter novels, almost every trigger warning applies. Though, Cop Town features a lot of racism, sexism, misogyny, and abuse.

Cop Town follows two perspectives: Maggie and Kate. Maggie is as seasoned a cop a woman could be at the time while Kate begins her first day on the force. Maggie and Kate wouldn’t be friends outside of work, but when they’re partnered up they have to put aside their differences. This creates a lot of delicious tension and showcases different coping styles.

Cop Town gives readers an intimate look at life within the police force and the sexism and misogyny both women have to endure, despite both Maggie’s brother and uncle being cops as well. It’s a very difficult novel to read in that regard. There are so many instances of casual racism, physical abuse, sexism, etc. However, without these moments the novel wouldn’t read as an authentic portrayal of its time. Though, the characters do get their comeuppance and it is worth the wait.

As for the mystery, Slaughter crafted a tight narrative. Reading about two women pursing their own investigate was riveting. Their investigation was easily some of the best moments of the novel.

Overall, Cop Town is a difficult read as it portrays 1970s Atlanta Police Department as corrupt, racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc. Readers get an intimate look at the effects of this toxic culture through two very different women making Cop Town more than just a mystery.

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Have you read Cop Town? What did you think?

One thought on “Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

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