Karen Slaughter got herself a new fan in me. Oh sure, she starts with the pretty writing, describing the city in metaphors, but then—Pow! Guts dripping down the back; pieces of skull bone stuck in teeth; pimps waiting outside the hospital emergency room. And that’s just the prologue.
COP TOWN is my first Slaughter novel; maybe you fans can help me out and let me know if all her writing is like this. She pulls and tugs, and slaps and bakes until the scene is vivid in front of you. The characters are commanding, especially the women, but all with their own culpabilities. That’s what really impresses me here with COP TOWN, where the chicks are hardcore, tough, kickass, but also carry a burden of faults. Ain’t nobody perfect; that’s what makes a true diamond shine. I think it’ll be impossible for you to read this and not love especially Kate and Maggie as characters.
Speaking of characters…this takes place down south in the 70’s, Atlanta to be specific. Slaughter catches this whole brutal flavor. This book shows the Good Ol’ White Boys Club. They didn’t like their new black Chief. They didn’t like women playing the part of fellow cop. They didn’t like gays. And they though CT (color town) is the place to investigate first. Slaughter shows how bad it was and the environment women police officers had to overcome to perform their duties and survive. This book is so much more than finding a cop killer, it’s the whole package.
You know what this book reminded me of? The HBO show THE WIRE. It’s like a flashback to yesteryear, when things seemed simpler, but had their own time-specific challenges. THE WIRE and COP TOWN show both sides of the coin, cops and robbers per se, but that didn’t necessary always mean good or bad. Like that show, this book shows the real human nature of it all.
I’d imagine Slaughter already has a following, but if you’re like me and haven’t started, now is the time to dig in.
Thanks to Delacorte and Random House for providing an electronic version of this book for me to review.
One of my favorite reviews of this book is Shelby’s on Goodreads. She uses pictures, GIFs, and colorful words to describe this book. Check it out: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/887295584?comment=100685687#comment_100685687