Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The mayor has appointed a new police commissioner who is doing everything he can to break the white power structure of the department.
Kate is the widow of a man killed in Vietnam. She keeps her Jewish heritage and family wealth to herself. Right from the start, she is harassed by the male dominated police department. Black cops and whites stand apart during roll call. Women aren't accepted as police officers and black women treated even worse. The other cops feel that women should only be able to be secretaries and not allowed on the road.
The heated intensity Kate faces comes from the fact that a cop killer has just claimed his fifth victim. It is Jimmy Lawson's partner. His sister, Maggie, is one of the field officers. She is teamed up with Jimmy as he tries to get leads on his partner's murder. Then, when he wants to do things privately, Kate is switched to ride along with Maggie. Maggie tries to teach Kate the ropes but wonders if she is just too pretty and too soft to make it on the job.
We view the story through Maggie's and Kate's eyes and also through the eyes of the killer. Maggie is from a blue collar family and lets the harassment roll off her back. Even her brother Jimmy doesn't try to protect her but joins in the taunting and innuendos of his beer drinking friends.
Maggie and Kate get caught up in their attempts to try to find the killer and something happens to Jimmy. Again, we see the action through the eyes of the killer who is making moves and stalking Kate as his next victim.
The dialogue is intense and the action burns with speed. Maggie tries to take command but her uncle, a sergeant on the police, is one of the leaders of the cops taking the law in their own hands.
Karin Slaughter is a heavyweight writer who is at the top of her form with this thirller. The reader feels sympathy for Kate and Maggie while dreading that they might become victims of the killer or of the maniacal philosophy of many of the seasoned cops.