The System
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The System

  • Paperback
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Description

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

On the sixth of December 1993, a drug dealer called Scrappy is shot and left for dead on her mother's lawn in South Central Los Angeles. A heroin addict witnesses the shooting, and seizes the moment to steal Scrappy's drugs, as well as the handgun that was dropped at the scene. When he's busted, he names local gang members Wizard and Dreamer as the shooters.

There's only one problem: one of them is guilty; the other, innocent. None of that matters, though, when the gun turns up again - miles from where the shooting happened - and both are arrested. Innocent or not, the gang tells them both to keep their mouths shut and take their charges.

With these two off the streets, Little, the unlikeliest of new gang members, is given a very serious job: discover how the gun got moved, who moved it, and why. Because it had to be a frame-up and the cops had to be involved. Didn't they?

Played out in the streets, precincts, jails, and courtrooms of Los Angeles, The System is a breakneck journey through every phase of the American criminal justice system. It is the story of a crime - from the moments before shots are fired, to the verdict and its violent aftershocks - told through the vivid chorus of those involved: the guilty, the innocent, the victim, the families who love them, and those simply doing their jobs. After all, justice is a matter of perspective.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 153 x 234mm
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 1509843841
  • 9781509843848

Review quote

Praise for All Involved:
'A symphonic, pitch-perfect, superlative novel. It is visceral and adrenalin-fuelled, yet tender and even darkly comic. It is audacious, unflinching and subversive. It doesn't judge. It swallowed me whole.' -- David Mitchell No ordinary gangster cat-and-mouse chase . . . While the gangsters-with-a-heart story might sound improbable, Gattis compensates with whip-smart vernacular and a narrative that zips along. Gattis has created a gripping novel about opportunity, transformation and hope. -- Observer A literary novel and a thriller with more twists than a DVD box-set make quite a combination. There is a lathed quality to Ryan Gattis's prose, which is reminiscent of Raymond Carver or Ernest Hemingway. Gattis is superb with the staccato sentence, honed to a few words. I have previously been enthusiastic about Gattis's polyphonic All Involved; this duet shows he is as assured on a closer frame. -- The Scotsman Inherently compelling. This macho, faster-than-a-speeding-bullet novel benefits from the extensive research Gattis has done on the L.A. gang scene and that deep knowledge informs electrifying plot twists. -- Time Tenderness in the midst of stories of brutality, Safe is the perfect read to have in your suitcase -- GQ 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. Praise for Ryan Gattis' last book - Safe:

A thrilling heist novel with a big beating heart -- Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the train
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About Ryan Gattis

Ryan Gattis is the author of Safe, Kung Fu High School, and All Involved: A Novel of the 1992 L.A. Riots, which won the American Library Association's Alex Award and the Lire Award for Noir of the Year in France. He lives and writes in Los Angeles, where he is a member of street art crew UGLARworks, and a Prison Writing Mentor for PEN America
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