Longlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2021
‘Excellent, lucid, intelligent and gripping’ – Scotsman
‘An utterly riveting read’ – Guardian, Thriller of the Month
6 December 1993. A drug dealer called Scrappy is shot and left for dead on her mother’s lawn in South Central Los Angeles. Two local gang members, Wizard and Dreamer, are arrested.
The problem is: one is guilty, the other wasn’t even there. It had to be a frame-up. And the cops had to be responsible, didn’t they? Narrated by the characters involved – the suspects, the victim, the families who love them, and those simply doing their jobs – The System tells the story of one crime, from the moments before shots are fired to the verdict and its violent aftershocks.
It’s a breakneck journey through the American criminal justice system. A system that can save you, or break you.