I became a fan of author Karin Slaughter when I was a judge for the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award a couple of years ago.
This is for the year’s best thriller and her entry in 2015 was Cop Town. The story is set in Atlanta in 1974, a time when the police force is segregated on racial and gender lines.
I was one of the judges who loved the book and was delighted when it was chosen as the winner.
Written in Blood
When I saw that Karin Slaughter was to be featured on CBS Reality’s Written in Blood series, I dropped everything to watch a preview.
The premise for Written in Blood is a clever one. Crime writer Simon Toyne meets six renowned fellow authors to discuss the influence of true-crime cases on their books.
In this episode, Simon travels to Karin’s home city of Atlanta, Georgia. The case she discuses is that of a vicious travelling spree killer called Paul John Knowles, known rather luridly as the Casanova Killer.
What influenced Karin Slaughter
He was certainly no romantic figure. He was a kidnapper, rapist and murderer. His violent moves between states made him hard to catch for law enforcement agencies back in the 1970s.
Karin, who’s sold something like 35million books, talks about his hatred of women and how the case made an impact on her.
Though I found the pace of the episode a little plodding in places, it’s certainly an interesting snapshot of a superb author. It goes out next Tuesday, 13 November, on CBS Reality at 10pm.
Other writers featured in the series include Peter Robinson and Tess Gerritson.
By the way, Cop Town is a fascinating period thriller. It follows two young women who join Atlanta’s police force at a time when it has just started to accept women officers in numbers. Ostracised by the men, Kate and Maggie struggle to fit in, while a cop killer stalks the streets. It evokes a time and place I knew little about, and it’s a gripper.