1974: As a brutal killing 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 sidelined in 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.
This book has received mixed reviews but I really liked it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Will Trent series so I was a tad concerned about Slaughter going off in a new directions, but I found this to be a great read.
Aside from the plot, which holds up well, I liked the way Slaughter conveyed the casual and embedded discrimination against women and pretty much every other minority in 1970s Atlanta. Whether it was in relation to the uniform, not being able to rent an apartment or get a loan without a male guarantor, or the trauma of running the gauntlet in the station house, this is a read full of atmosphere. You can hear the catcalls, cringe at the innuendo, and wonder at how women lived within the limits that society and their male colleagues foisted on them.
And yet, none of that gets in the way of the story – how the police strive to protect their own, then strive to protect their own reputation through whatever means necessary
It’s a cracking read, full of gritty poverty, a nasty but realistic pecking order, lots of laughs (yes, actually), and two believable female characters in the middle whom it would be lovely to see again.