It is 1970s Atlanta and Maggie Lawson is one of a handful of female police officers. None of the male officers want women on the job, including her brother Jimmy and her uncle Terry. There has been a rash of cop shootings recently and Terry and Jimmy don’t have time to watch out for Maggie. Additionally, it is felt that the women can’t add anything valuable to the investigation.
Partnered with, Kate, an FNG, (Fucking New Girl) from a posh neighborhood, no less, Maggie still wants to be part of the investigation but everyone thinks Kate will wash out by week’s end. When Jimmy’s partner is shot, with Jimmy close by, the murders are brought even closer to home. Everyone in the Lawson household is telling Maggie to resign. Both Kate and Maggie have something to prove to themselves and everybody else.
As I said, Slaughter has created some despicable characters, especially in the police department. Many of the males are veterans of either WW II or the Vietnam War, depending on their ages. They are anti women, anti Black, anti gay, anti everything that isn’t exactly like they are. They are habitually drunk on the job and prefer their own justice to that of the legal system.
Maggie and Kate are interesting characters, stumbling through their jobs, trying to compete in a man’s world.
Slaughter does a nice job describing the various sections of Atlanta. She also does a great job describing the police department of the times; the segregation within it (the ‘colored girls’ dress after the white girls leave the locker room and have put a curtain across it, claiming their own territory), the sexism within the department (the groping as the women enter the building) and the ‘taking the law into their own hands’ mentality.
All in all, I really liked Cop Town and would certainly read another Karin Slaughter book.