Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: COP TOWN by Karin Slaughter

Cop TownThere is an air of George Pelecanos to Karin Slaughter’s standalone (though I suspect it’ll result in further instalments) crime novel set in 1970’s Atlanta. The mood, setting, and topic all lean towards the darker side of crime fiction of which Pelecanos is renowned. What Karin Slaughter does with this story is make it mainstream and easily accessible to police procedural junkies who may not have a penchant for such themes in crime fiction – which I think is a good thing.

Exploring the seedy, racist, sexist and coiled spring tension filled atmosphere of a white male dominated police department, Karin Slaughter weaves a tale that gives testament to the hard knock life and then some.

The two female leads are flawed yet endearing, each with their own idiosyncrasies and distinct path of self discovery – paths where the cobble stones are bloodied, cracked and uneven – noir-ish without passing that irredeemable point of no return.

The thing that really kept the pages of COP TOWN turning for me was the multifaceted storytelling and plot threads culminating in a broader story of a serial cop killer. The depiction of such a harsh quality of life for women of that time wanting to succeed in a male dominated environment was irresistible and addictive if only for the way they were to overcome the mountainous odds against them.  

While it was refreshing to read a standalone novel, I do hope some of these characters reprise their roles at some stage. I think Karin Slaughter is on to a winner with this 1970’s Atlanta cop story.


  1. I agree, I would love to see what these characters are up to in future books.