Out on 09 July 2020

The System

Ryan Gattis

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09 July 2020
224 pages

The System can save you, or it can break you...

On the sixth of December, 1993, a local drug dealer is shot on the lawn outside her mother’s house in South Central Los Angeles. There are witnesses, sure, but there are always witnesses. It’s the kind of crime that often goes unreported for fear of violent gang reprisals. This time, however, is different. One witness has more to lose by keeping quiet.

And there is also the matter of the handgun—dropped at the scene—that mysteriously appears across town, inside the dresser of a suspect while law enforcement search the residence. Both young men living at the house are arrested. One is guilty, the other, innocent; that doesn’t matter, though, as the gang tells him to keep his mouth shut and take his charges. With these two off the streets, the unlikeliest of new gangsters is given one job: discover how the gun got moved. Because it had to be a frame-up and the cops had to be involved. Didn’t they?

Played out on the streets and in precincts, in jails and court rooms, The System is the story of a crime—from the moments just before shots are fired, to the verdict and its violent aftershocks. It is a journey through each phase of the American criminal justice system, one captured in hyper-realistic detail and told through the many voices of those involved… Because, after all, justice is a matter of perspective.

Praise for Ryan Gattis' last book - Safe:

A thrilling heist novel with a big beating heart

Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the train

SAFE is a propulsive thriller that confirms Ryan Gattis as one of our most gifted novelists. The book has unstoppable momentum yet is as finely layered and detailed with the gritty truth of life and the streets as I’ve ever read. It shoots you down a path that is fraught with surprise and insight, and you can’t ask for more than that.

Michael Connelly, creator of the Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller series.

Combining All Involved's facility for tenderness in the midst of stories of brutality, Safe is the perfect read to have in your suitcase