12/24/2014 12:44 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Books: Bestselling Author Karin Slaughter Confesses Her Crimes


COP TOWN By Karin Slaughter
($27 hardcover; Delacorte)

It's been a good year for author Karin Slaughter. After writing 14 bestsellers featuring a memorable cast of characters, she delivered a "stand alone," that is, a book with new characters that isn't part of an ongoing series. Called Cop Town, it's set in the 1970s and features Kate Murphy, a new rookie female cop joining the force and desperate to keep her privileged background a secret. Kate is paired with a tough veteran named Maggie Lawson, a blue blood in the only sense that counts to other cops: a blue collar worker from a family of policemen.

Cop Town has been named one of the best books of the year by Amazon. Gillian Flynn says Slaughter is "one of the best thriller writers working today." And Michael Connelly says, "If you haven't read her yet, this is the moment."

Slaughter has been publishing books to serious acclaim and sales since her debut with Blindsighted in 2001. That proved to be the launch of a series set in a small town in Georgia which combined the bleak landscape of crime with real characters whose lives are continually shattered and rebuilt by the violence they witness or sometimes suffer directly. Each book offers a new horror for the folk of fictional Grant County to face. But when these gripping thrillers are intertwined with the drama of their personal lives -- the town's coroner is a woman who divorced her husband the sheriff when he cheated on her -- it becomes addictive reading. More importantly, it shows the lasting effect of brutal crimes on both the victims, their family and friends and even the police who investigate. This isn't a world where bad guys are punished and all returns to normal: the aftershocks of a crime committed in her first book have a subtle ripple effect on everyone right up to the present.

That first award-winning series led to a second one set in Atlanta and then both came together in her last few books which merged the two worlds Slaughter had created. With 30 million copies sold worldwide and Slaughter hitting the top of the bestseller list in numerous countries, she is apparently just getting started. Cop Town is out now in hardcover. If you're a paperback lover, that version comes out January 27. And then a new standalone novel called Pretty Girls is due out in July.

In Cop Town, a cop killer is on the loose and the entire force of Atlanta is out for blood, ready to bend or break any rules in their desire to avenge the deaths of their own and stop a madman. Slaughter illuminates countless divides: rich and poor, women and men and even among the beleaguered female cops (who eye each other warily across racial lines).

An engaging presence, Slaughter is also a smart and passionate advocate for the issues she subtly raises in her books. Here's Slaughter talking about the genuine dangers female cops faced when joining the police force in the face of hostile male resistance.

Of course, with fame comes the inevitable spotlight on your private life. So Slaughter happily confessed when asked to talk about the first crime she ever committed.

To watch the rest of Karin Slaughter's interview about her new book and career, head to and click on the video on the front page.

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of BookFilter, a book lover's best friend. It's a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It's like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide -- but every week in every category. He's also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It's available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free galleys and final copies of books in the hope that he'll review or write a story on them. He receives far more copies of books than he could ever cover.