The System

The System

An electrifying, multi-voiced thriller tackling our criminal justice system, from the writer Michael Connelly has called “one of our most gifted novelists.”

On December 6, 1993, a drug dealer called Scrappy is shot and left for dead on the lawn outside her mother’s house in South Central Los Angeles. Augie, a heroin addict, witnesses the whole thing—before he steals all the drugs on her person, as well as the gun that was dropped at the scene. When Augie gets busted, he names local gang members Wizard and Dreamer the shooters.

But only one of them is guilty.

A search of Wizard and Dreamer’s premises uncovers the gun that was used in the shooting, and a warrant goes out for their arrest. They know it’s a frame-up, but the word from the gang is to keep their mouths shut and face the charges.

With these two off the streets and headed for jail, Dreamer’s friend Little, the unlikeliest of new gang members, is given one job: discover how the gun got moved, and why.

Played out in the streets, precincts, jails, and courtrooms of Los Angeles, Ryan Gattis's The System is the harrowing story of a crime—from moments before the bullets are fired, to the verdict and its violent aftershocks—told through the vivid chorus of those involved, guilty, the innocent, and everyone in between.

Title:The System
ISBN:9780374130312
Format Type:

    The System Reviews

  • Fran

    "This is the story of one...crime-those accused of it, those who witnessed it, the lawyers who prosecuted and defended it, and those left behind on the outside"."...the system is the system. It always...

  • Lou

    The System is a dark, gritty and sinister legal thriller all about the consequences and implications of the United States criminal justice system. Set against the backdrop of Lynwood in South Central ...

  • Roman Clodia

    If you loved Gattis' All Involved then this is a must-read as I'd say it's even better, perhaps because it has a cleaner narrative arc and more story-telling momentum. The format is essentially simila...

  • Elaine

    This was our audiobook for the annual Christmas road trip. The System is a gritty crime thriller about LA street gangs and corrupt cops. The writing makes you feel like you're right there in the thick...

  • Eric

    The toughest part about reviewing novels like The System by Ryan Gattis, is doing justice to the writing and story. This novel really is more than just a “crime” or “thriller” novel. It’s a ...

  • Randal White

    Wow! I have had the good fortune to read several great books so far this year, and this one goes right to the top of the list of most enjoyed. I actually got into trouble with the wife, because I woul...

  • Sid Nuncius

    I’ve had two good goes at The System now, but I’m afraid I can’t get on with it and have bailed out.I’m not sure quite why I’m struggling with it; I liked All Involved and this is in a simil...

  • Mark

    A thought-provoking and frightening lens on LA gang culture, The System sees Ryan Gattis return to the subject matter of his excellent novel All Involved. Whilst All Involved took place during the may...

  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    Our story opens on the streets of LA in 1993. They weren’t any nicer back then than now, and we’re not in the good part of town. Gangs rule their turf, and that turf is sacred to them. The penalti...

  • Paul

    Okay, so Ryan Gattis has returned to the early-90's LA gang turf that served him so well in "All Involved," my favorite crime novel of the last decade. But what worked then works now, plus, I don't se...