Monday, June 9, 2014

Hard-hitting Police Drama: Cop Town by Karen Slaughter

It's the Vietnam era/ Atlanta has been a police town, a white police town that is. Now the blacks are gaining their own power base, and it doesn't sit will. Four cops have been murdered gangland style. The cops are convinced that the blacks are responsible. When another incident occurs, they're ready to go all out to make sure the killer doesn't strike again even if they have to take justice into their own hands.

Jimmy Murphy, a member of one of the old-time police families, is nearly murdered. His partner is killed and Jimmy barely escapes with his life. Now the cops are doubly eager to catch the killer, but Jimmy's sister, Maggie, also a policeman, isn't convinced by his recounting of the killing. She starts her own investigation helped by Kate, a rookie, and Gail, her former supervisor.

Kate comes from a wealthy family. Her husband Patrick was killed in Vietnam, and now she feels that she has to prove herself. Police work, particularly with this group in Atlanta, is tough sledding and no one expects Kate to stick it out, but surprisingly she isn't ready to quit.

Kate is an excellent character, tough and resilient, although she isn't sure she has the stamina to stick it out. The cops, particularly Maggie's uncle Terry, are tough characters portraying all the racial and sexual hatred of the force in that era in the South. These characters are realistic for the time period, but not likable.

The plot has plenty of twists to keep you reading. However, if you're offended by racial slurs and bad language, you will not enjoy this book. It's and true to the time period, but not a comfortable read.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.