Synopsis: Atlanta, 1974. As a brutal killing and a furious manhunt rock the city, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the police force will also be her last. For life is anything but easy in the male-dominated world of the Atlanta Police Department, where even the other female cops have little mercy for the new girl.
Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who is finding things tough. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When Maggie and Kate become partners, and are side-lined in the search for the city’s cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach boiling point.
With the killer poised to strike again, will Kate and Maggie have the courage to pursue their own line of investigation? And are they prepared to risk everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart?
My Review: I was surprised to realise that this was a stand-alone novel by Karin Slaughter. I was also quite excited at the synopsis as she has gone for the same geographical setting but in the 1970’s. It features Maggie Lawson and Kate Murphy as our two main characters. It took me a little longer than her usual books to settle in, but I wasn’t surprised as this wasn’t part of a series that I had become familiar with over time. As police officers in the Atlanta are in the seventies things are certainly not easy on them. Karin Slaughter has made the book authentic and believable from the outset. I certainly realised very quickly that working in this line of work back then, was tantamount to being a wanted criminal.
Out of the two characters Kate is introduced as the new girl to the police force. With Maggie having experience as well as having her brother and Uncle on the force, she is naturally the one Kate looks to for advice. Maggie seemed initially like the force to be reckoned with but Kate developed as a character and by the end of the book I found myself hoping that Karin may well continue this theme on featuring both these women.
The main storyline features the Atlanta police force launching a massive manhunt for a killer known simply as The Shooter. There are some absolutely awful characters featuring in this story but I guess for that era they were pretty much the norm! What this latest Slaughter novel does is highlight the serious issues that were around back then such as racism, sexism and homophobia. That aside the story is weaved with intellect and keeps the reader guessing until the later part of the book.
Although I wouldn’t say this was my favourite KS book, it kept me intrigued with its setting, characters, story and pace. As ever she has shown how versatile an author she is and has given her readers another set of characters that they will no doubt want to see more of (I can always hope). A great read which I think many fans will be pleasantly surprised by.