Kate Murphy is determined to be a police officer. Recently widowed, Kate has failed at all the other jobs she’s tried. If she doesn’t find a way to succeed in the Atlanta Police Department, then she’s going to have to go home to her rich family and admit defeat. That wouldn’t be so bad, for some people, but Kate feels the need to stand on her own two feet and find her own life. And this is a fine attitude, except Kate has chosen to become a female police officer in 1974, at a time when a cop killer is driving the Atlanta police force into a frenzy. Unless she is very careful, Kate may not last through her very first day.

Maggie Lawson is having her own difficult time on the police force. She isn’t a rooky cop, but she’s overshadowed by her domineering uncle Terry and the unpredictable actions of her brother Jimmy, both police officers as well. When Jimmy’s partner, Don Mosley, is killed by the unknown cop killer, Maggie’s life starts to come unglued. Lucky for her that she is partnered with newby officer Kate, because together, the two may just solve the cop killer murders and find the confidence to hold their heads high in their chosen career.

Ms. Slaughter has a bold, clear writing style that is easy to read, yet also conveys a great deal of information with very few words. She is a master at creating dynamic characters, and I was very impressed with her setting choice of Atlanta in 1974. This is a hard time in history to pull off well. Women were new to the work force, in many ways, and many of the workplaces were ruled by men. Political correctness was not so correct, and people did not have cell phones on every corner to record misdeeds and random events. Yet, Ms. Slaughter created two very different, yet very powerful women who were able to come together, in spite of their differences, to work together well and succeed in this setting. The dynamics of the female relationships in this book are superb.

I will say that, for me, this was not a mystery, but rather a thriller, and I prefer a good mystery. Yet the setting and writing style of this book was enough to make me try another Karin Slaughter title, in spite of that fact. Excellent writing, an unusual setting, and wonderful female characters. Cop Town is highly enjoyable.

Annette G.