BROOKLYN SUPREME is the long-awaited third novel of Robert Reuland.
On a Brooklyn street corner a police officer shoots and kills a young black man, igniting a firestorm of protests and unrest, denials and excuses from cops, promises and apologies from politicians, and cries of hate and outrage from an aggrieved public—a story perhaps all too painfully familiar.
In this case the police officer in question is a rookie, a woman fresh from the police academy, and she herself is young and black.
From the outset nothing is clear. Eyewitnesses lie and contradict one another. A loaded gun is found on the body of the victim, police say, and the “blue wall of silence” looms over all. Nevertheless the DA rushes a murder indictment through the grand jury, doing either what’s right or simply what he must do to survive the raging turmoil as protesters fill the streets. All demand justice, but everyone has a different idea what justice is.
Caught in the middle of this conflagration of law, politics, and race is the rookie cop’s unlikely defender, Will Way, her police union representative. Will does what he can for her, but it’s not enough once the case becomes less about what really happened on that dark street corner and more about the larger forces in society that compel us to consider why such a case can take hold of us and not let go.
As compelling and fraught as the investigation may be, it soon becomes part of the far larger and more engrossing story of Will Way whose long relationship with the judge presiding over the case begins to overshadow the case itself. Will loved the judge’s daughter, a troubled young woman who disappeared from his life long ago under circumstances that remain a mystery. Soon Will ceases to be merely defending a fellow cop in a criminal investigation but a target of the investigation himself as his past spills into the present with all his hidden secrets and regrets.
While events reach back and forth through time and circle around New York City, Reuland always takes the reader back to the place he knows best, the world of crime and punishment centered on a building known as Kings County Supreme Court, which courthouse regulars call simply:
The long-awaited third novel of Robert Reuland, Brooklyn Supreme is a clear-eyed exploration of the fault lines of class, gender, and race in America, and a stunning portrayal of our shaky justice system. A standout crime novel by a writer with an undeniable gift, Brooklyn Supreme is a gritty and gut-wrenching read.
Available November 2021.