A NEW edition of Clarkson’s acclaimed
police procedural set in Brownsville, Brooklyn
is now available in Kindle and paperback versions
A novel of redemption
With a writing style that grips you by the throat and leaves you breathless,
John Clarkson brings to life the streets of Brooklyn and the reality of life and death in New Lots. Clarkson's hard-hitting action, complex characters, and plot-twists draw the reader into the depths of injustice, violence, love, and redemption.
A drug war is blazing in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
The carnage has escalated far beyond the tolerable. In a last-ditch effort to shut it down, the NYPD sends in an outcast team of cops led by a man way past his last chance - First Grade Detective Loyd Shaw.
Amidst a deadly mix of poverty, injustice, addiction, and greed, is there any hope for redemption?
The answer lies in a shattering, life and death climax.
NEW LOTS is set during the last days of a crack epidemic that devastated poor neighborhoods throughout New York City. On the ground research in Brownsville brings you into the story as if you were there. Now re-edited by the author, John Clarkson, and published at a time when America is still struggling with the same issues today, NEW LOTS is more relevant than ever.
New Lots was first published by Tor/Forge twenty-two years ago. The story takes place in Brownsville, Brooklyn during the last days of a crack epidemic that ravaged poor neighborhoods throughout New York. The first time I ventured into Brownsville, I lasted about ten minutes before I had to hail down a gypsy cab and leave. It was only with the help of an NYPD detective I befriended that I was able to do the research I needed in order to write this book.
There was a housing project on New Lots Avenue that was the primary locale. That setting became a composite of the systemic problems that plagued neighborhoods like Brownsville and its mostly African American residents.
When I decided to re-edit New Lots, it occurred to me that a novel written so long ago wasn’t exactly timely. However, at the time I published the new edition America is living through the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd protests, and a re-evaluation of race relations and police department policies. It made me wonder if perhaps the realities described in New Lots aren’t all that outdated. So, I did some research to find out what has happened over the years to Brownsville and that original housing project. Sadly, as of 2015 conditions sounded even worse. The housing project’s courtyard was an open-air drug market. Squatters and drug dealers took over buildings. Over twenty apartments were commandeered for selling drugs. And real estate investors were still trying to profit from the situation.
As of 2018, Brownsville has the highest infant mortality rate in NYC. And the most drug-related deaths. And the most premature deaths, and psychiatric hospitalizations, rates of diabetes, childhood obesity, and air pollution, along with poor access to healthcare, poor housing quality, generally poor access to goods and services. The list goes on. It seems that New Lots is just as timely and perhaps even more relevant now than ever.