Tuesday, Sep 4, 2018
Cop Town is set in 1974 Atlanta. There aren't a lot of women on the police force, and for those that are, things aren't always what they hoped. The only female detectives are used as under-cover prostitutes to catch perps, and the rest of the women are denigrated and harassed to no end.
We meet Kate Murphy on her first day on the job, unexpectedly forced into the working world after the death of her husband. There's a cop killer in the city, and the Atlanta Police Department is in turmoil. Kate is shuffled around because no one wants her, and eventually gets paired with Maggie Lawson for babysitting. It's an attempt by the male officers to get rid of the women and keep them from working any real cases. Kate and Maggie make the best of it, despite Maggie's initial reluctance and gruff demeanor. Maggie slowly softens, letting Kate in on all the little tips and tricks to working in the Atlanta PD, like where the women can stop and use the bathroom safely while on patrol, or where to get the giant, men's uniforms they're issued tailored to fit. Still, they are outcasts in their own department because of their gender, but they go about finding ways to investigate the police shootings. Each woman finds a way of moving forward in the investigation, despite roadblocks being thrown up by their male coworkers. With each gain comes satisfaction from outsmarting and outworking the guys, not to mention getting closer to the truth.
There is great character development of Maggie and Kate, making it an enjoyable book. While some readers may object to strong language or sex, it provides a realistic portrait of cop life, and attitudes of the 70's.