The System (Hardback)
  • The System (Hardback)
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The System (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 432 Pages / Published: 10/12/2020
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Longlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger 2021

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

On the sixth of December 1993, a drug dealer named 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 two local gang members 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. Hadn't they?

Played out in the streets, precincts, jails, and courtrooms of Los Angeles, The System by Ryan Gattis 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.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509843831
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 660 g
Dimensions: 243 x 162 x 42 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Pacy, immersive and vivid, with strong characterisation and no punches pulled, this is an utterly riveting read' - Laura Wilson, Guardian

'It is superb. It's weighty, authentic to its bone marrow, questioning and thoughtful . . . I am in awe of Gattis's plotting, characters, sense of pace and most of all his ear for language and diction and dialect . . . The System reinvigorates my idea of what fiction is capable of being.' - David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas

'Gripping, meticulously-researched and smartly-plotted, I devoured this brilliant novel over the course of a weekend.' - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

'The book is the fruit of six years' research and there are all sorts of details that ring true . . . the most compelling courtroom drama I have read this year.' - Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph, Novel of the Week

'The novel follows Ryan Gattis's previous books in sketching a portrait of Nineties LA to sit alongside that of James Ellroy's depiction of it in the Forties . . . so finely nuanced are the individual voices and so visceral in particular are the scenes of prison life, with its hierarchies and fault lines, that the writing accumulates a heft that forces you to care' - Thriller of the Month, The Times

'A crime novel and a novel of social criticism . . . the trial scenes which occupy the last third of the novel are excellent, lucid, intelligent and utterly gripping . . . One should add that this is possible only because the groundwork had been well laid by intelligent and cunning plotting . . . The System is a crime novel and a thriller, but, like the best in the genre, is invites you to think as well as feel' - Allan Massie, Scotsman

'A muscular, rousing tale of injustice, systemic racism and the desperation of those chunks of urban America abandoned by local and national government' - Metro

'The System is a tour de force . . . It is a page-turner, but one you will want to read slowly in order to savor every gorgeous sentence . . . Ryan Gattis is a magician.' - David Dow, author of Confessions of an Innocent Man

'I relate so much to this book, it's painful . . . That's how real this novel is . . . Front to back, it's not just an incredible work, it's an experience.' - Gustavo "Goose" Alvarez, author of The Pawn

'The System's panoramic approach-eschewing one main character for a whole set of people associated with a crime-sets it apart . . . A tale of redemption, an examination of loyalty and a love song for family bonds.' - Patrick Hoffman, author of Clean Hands

'The System is an odyssey through the legal system . . . The dialogue isn't dialogue; it's what you'd actually hear - on the street, in a courtroom, on the prison yard.' - Joe Ide, author of the IQ series

'Gripping, fascinating, moving, and so very, very real. The System is one of the best books I've read in years.' - Marcia Clark, author of Final Judgment and former Criminal Prosecutor

'Ryan Gattis ingeniously casts deeply researched novels of social protest as page-turning crime fiction . . . This book blew my mind.' - Dan Slater, author of Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers

'The System is as real as it gets - often brutal, but a beautifully written reality of not only life on the street, but also getting caught up or working in the justice system.' - David Swinson, author of The Second Girl

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“Slow burn thriller”

This is quite a slow burning novel but has enough about it to keep you turning the pages. A very well (or so it seems) researched and written story of the US criminal justice system and the abuses of same. Thanks to... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 8

“Amazing”

Ryan Gattis has been one of my favourite authors since I read the incredible All Involved, and this is an absolutely amazing novel. Just like All Involved this is told from multiple character's perspectives (and... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 7

“Interesting”

My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Pan Macmillan for the ARC.

Set in the Los Angeles suburbs 1993, post the race riots, this story is told from the points of view of all the main characters involved - so you really... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5

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