In March of 1991, Julia Carroll, a student at the University of Georgia, disappeared walking home from a bar. Her body was never found and her family was ripped apart in the aftermath. Claire Carroll Scott is living a perfect and comfortable life in Dunwoody, Georgia, an affluent suburb of Atlanta. Her husband Paul Scott is a well known architect and has made millions in that field. Lydia Carroll Delgado is a recovering addict with a teenage daughter and a growing dog grooming business. Lydia and Claire haven’t spoken in years but all of that changes when Paul is murdered during a mugging. Then Claire discovers on accident horrifying porn on Paul’s computer, making her question everything she ever thought about her husband.
I am not sure I can put into words just how great of a writer Karin Slaughter is. Like all of her books, Pretty Girls had me hanging on every word. Her characters and plots are extremely well developed. Her descriptions of my hometown of Atlanta make me feel like I am back there again.
Cop Town, Slaughter’s last standalone novel was a very dark book. Pretty Girls is a hundred times darker and intense. Slaughter shows just how depraved people can be with an unflinching eye. She is certainly not afraid to touch topics that most writers wouldn’t dare write about.
Paul is a frightening character. He shows a perfect side to Claire and his business associates but underneath that calm exterior is a violent psychopath. Paul is the scary stranger on the street that you would never guess was a murderer.
In Cop Town by Karin Slaughter, Kate Murphy couldn’t have picked a worse day to start as a rookie cop for the Atlanta Police Department. The APD has been rocked by a serial killer that the force has dubbed The Shooter. Kate’s partner, Maggie Lawson isn’t about to make things any easier for the Buckhead princess. Maggie has her own problems: her cop brother was injured last night by The Shooter and her cop uncle has no qualms about beating her or reminding her that she belongs in the kitchen not on the force. As Kate and Maggie patrol the streets looking for the killer, the two come to believe that they could solve the case before the detectives do. Just two problems: This is Atlanta in 1974 and women aren’t detectives and aren’t welcomed on the force.
I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Slaughter’s. I have been reading her for years and each book gets better and better. Her descriptions of my hometown of Atlanta are so accurate that it feels like I am visiting. Cop Town is a much different book for Slaughter. It’s het first stand alone novel. It’s also historical in nature. Anyone who reads this book should know it’s nothing at all like her Grant County and Will Trent series.
Atlanta in 1974 is on the cusp of a radical culture change. Desegregation is beginning. Whites are fleeing to the suburbs ultimately creating the urban sprawl that the city is now notorious for. Most importantly, Atlanta has elected it’s first Black mayor, Maynard Jackson.