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Cop Town

Cover of Cop Town

Cop Town

A Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Karin Slaughter, author of the bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as "one of the best crime novelists in America" (The Washington Post). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city's police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She's determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It's also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn't the only woman on the force who's feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city's darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter's most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.
Features a preview of Karin Slaughter's next novel, Pretty Girls

"Karin Slaughter is simply one of the best thriller writers working today, and Cop Town shows the author at the top of her game—relentless pacing, complex characters, and gritty realism, all set against the backdrop of a city on the edge. Slaughter's eye for detail and truth is unmatched. . . . I'd follow her anywhere."—Gillian Flynn

"Cop Town proves Karin Slaughter is one of America's best writers. . . . She pulls her readers into a twisted tale of mystery and keeps them fascinated from start to finish."The Huffington Post
"Stunning . . . Karin Slaughter breaks new ground with this riveting story. If you haven't yet read her, this is the moment."—Michael Connelly

"Compulsively readable . . . will have your heart racing."O: The Oprah Magazine

"Intense . . . engrossing . . . evocative . . . [Karin Slaughter's] first stand-alone novel [has] a gritty, action-packed plot and strong, believable characters."—Associated Press

"Slaughter graphically exposes the rampant racism, homophobia, and misogyny of cop culture in the 1970s. . . . Winning leads, the retro setting, and a riveting plot make this one of Slaughter's best."Booklist (starred review)

"Superb . . . explosive . . . [Cop Town] is sure to win over readers new to Slaughter's work while reminding old fans of her enormous talent."Library Journal (starred review)

"Evocative writing . . . amazing characters . . . with edge-of-your-seat suspense and a riveting plot . . . Slaughter's first stand-alone book is a knockout."RT Book Reviews

From the Paperback edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Karin Slaughter, author of the bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as "one of the best crime novelists in America" (The Washington Post). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city's police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She's determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It's also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn't the only woman on the force who's feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city's darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter's most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.
Features a preview of Karin Slaughter's next novel, Pretty Girls

"Karin Slaughter is simply one of the best thriller writers working today, and Cop Town shows the author at the top of her game—relentless pacing, complex characters, and gritty realism, all set against the backdrop of a city on the edge. Slaughter's eye for detail and truth is unmatched. . . . I'd follow her anywhere."—Gillian Flynn

"Cop Town proves Karin Slaughter is one of America's best writers. . . . She pulls her readers into a twisted tale of mystery and keeps them fascinated from start to finish."The Huffington Post
"Stunning . . . Karin Slaughter breaks new ground with this riveting story. If you haven't yet read her, this is the moment."—Michael Connelly

"Compulsively readable . . . will have your heart racing."O: The Oprah Magazine

"Intense . . . engrossing . . . evocative . . . [Karin Slaughter's] first stand-alone novel [has] a gritty, action-packed plot and strong, believable characters."—Associated Press

"Slaughter graphically exposes the rampant racism, homophobia, and misogyny of cop culture in the 1970s. . . . Winning leads, the retro setting, and a riveting plot make this one of Slaughter's best."Booklist (starred review)

"Superb . . . explosive . . . [Cop Town] is sure to win over readers new to Slaughter's work while reminding old fans of her enormous talent."Library Journal (starred review)

"Evocative writing . . . amazing characters . . . with edge-of-your-seat suspense and a riveting plot . . . Slaughter's first stand-alone book is a knockout."RT Book Reviews

From the Paperback edition.
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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Prologue

    Dawn broke over Peachtree Street. The sun razored open the downtown corridor, slicing past the construction cranes waiting to dip into the earth and pull up skyscrapers, hotels, convention centers. Frost spiderwebbed across the parks. Fog drifted through the streets. Trees slowly straightened their spines. The wet, ripe meat of the city lurched toward the November light.

    The only sound was footsteps.

    Heavy slaps echoed between the buildings as Jimmy Lawson's police-issue boots pounded the pavement. Sweat poured from his skin. His left knee wanted to give. His body was a symphony of pain. Every muscle was a plucked piano wire. His teeth gritted like a sand block. His heart was a snare drum.

    The black granite Equitable Building cast a square shadow as he crossed Pryor Street. How many blocks had Jimmy gone? How many more did he have to go?

    Don Wesley was thrown over his shoulder like a sack of flour. Fireman's carry. Harder than it looked. Jimmy's shoulder was ablaze. His spine drilled into his tailbone. His arm trembled from the effort of keeping Don's legs clamped to his chest. The man could already be dead. He wasn't moving. His head tapped into the small of Jimmy's back as he barreled down Edgewood faster than he'd ever carried the ball down the field. He didn't know if it was Don's blood or his own sweat that was rolling down the back of his legs, pooling into his boots.

    He wouldn't survive this. There was no way a man could survive this.

    The gun had snaked around the corner. Jimmy had watched it slither past the edge of a cinder-block wall. The sharp fangs of the front sights jutted up from the tip of the barrel. Raven MP-25. Six-round detachable box, blowback action, semiauto. The classic Saturday night special. Twenty-five bucks on any ghetto corner.

    That's what his partner's life had come down to. Twenty-five bucks.

    Jimmy faltered as he ran past First Atlanta Bank. His left knee almost touched the asphalt. Only adrenaline and fear saved him from falling. Quick bursts of recall kept setting off colorful fireworks in his head: Red shirtsleeve bunched up around a yellow-gold wristwatch. Black-gloved hand holding the white pearl grip. The rising sun had bathed the weapon's dark steel in a bluish light. It didn't seem right that something black could have a glint to it, but the gun had almost glowed.

    And then the finger pulled back on the trigger.

    Jimmy knew the workings of a gun. The 25's slide was already racked, cartridge in the chamber. The trigger spring engaged the firing pin. The firing pin hit the primer. The primer ignited the gunpowder. The bullet flew from the chamber. The casing popped out of the ejection port.

    Don's head exploded.

    Jimmy's memory did no work to raise the image. The violence was etched into his corneas, backdropped every time he blinked. Jimmy was looking at Don, then he was looking at the gun, then he was looking at how the side of Don's face had distorted into the color and texture of a rotten piece of fruit.

    Click-click.

    The gun had jammed. Otherwise, Jimmy wouldn't be running down the street right now. He would be face down in an alley beside Don, condoms and cigarette butts and needles sticking to their skin.

    Gilmer Street. Courtland. Piedmont. Three more blocks. His knee could hold out for three more blocks.

    Jimmy had never been on the business end of a firing gun. The flash was an explosion of starlight--millions of pinpricked pieces of sun lighting up the dark alley. His eardrums rang with the sound. His eyes stung from the cordite. At the same time, he felt the splash against his skin, like hot water, only he...

About the Author-
  • Karin Slaughter is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of fourteen thrillers, including Unseen, Criminal, Fallen, Broken, Undone, Fractured, Beyond Reach, Triptych, Faithless, and the e-original short stories "Snatched" and "Busted." She is a native of Georgia.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 14, 2014
    Violent crime, police politics, and race relations all figure in this scintillating standalone set in 1970s Atlanta, from bestseller Slaughter (Martin Misunderstood). Maggie Lawson comes from a disjointed, emotionally disconnected family of law enforcement officers, and her time spent as an Atlanta PD cop has hardened her to many of the job’s horrors. But when her brother, Jimmy, who’s also a police officer, loses his partner to a notorious and elusive cop killer—only surviving the ordeal himself because the assassin’s handgun jammed—Maggie decides she can’t write this murder off as yet another day on the job. Determined to track down “the Shooter,” she finds an unlikely partner in Kate Murphy, a stunningly beautiful widow and new recruit reassigned to Maggie’s patrol. While the two women search for answers, Kate becomes the next potential victim in the demented Shooter’s crosshairs. Slaughter does her usual fine job of exploring intriguingly troubled characters, though readers should be prepared for plenty of gore. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Associates.

  • Gillian Flynn "Karin Slaughter is simply one of the best thriller writers working today, and Cop Town shows the author at the top of her game--relentless pacing, complex characters, and gritty realism, all set against the backdrop of a city on the edge. Slaughter's eye for detail and truth is unmatched. . . . I'd follow her anywhere."
  • The Huffington Post "Cop Town proves Karin Slaughter is one of America's best writers. . . . She pulls her readers into a twisted tale of mystery and keeps them fascinated from start to finish."
  • Michael Connelly "Stunning . . . In Karin Slaughter's first stand-alone novel, she breaks new ground with this riveting story of two young police officers trying to stop a serial killer targeting cops. Her characters, plot, and pacing are unrivaled among thriller writers and if you haven't yet read her, this is the moment."
  • O: The Oprah Magazine "Compulsively readable . . . will have your heart racing."
  • Associated Press "Intense . . . engrossing . . . evocative . . . [Karin Slaughter's] first stand-alone novel [has] a gritty, action-packed plot and strong, believable characters."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Slaughter graphically exposes the rampant racism, homophobia, and misogyny of cop culture in the 1970s. . . . Winning leads, the retro setting, and a riveting plot make this one of Slaughter's best."
  • Library Journal (starred review) "Superb . . . explosive . . . [Cop Town] is sure to win over readers new to Slaughter's work while reminding old fans of her enormous talent."
  • Publishers Weekly "Evocative writing . . . amazing characters . . . with edge-of-your-seat suspense and a riveting plot . . . Slaughter's first stand-alone book is a knockout."--RT Book Reviews "Scintillating . . . Slaughter does her usual fine job of exploring intriguingly troubled characters."
  • Kathryn Stockett "A masterpiece . . . Much more than a thriller . . . Karin Slaughter's unforgettable female characters and stunning evocation of time and place make Cop Town one of the most powerful and moving reads of recent memory."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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A Novel
Karin Slaughter
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