A local police sergeant’s novel reveals the challenges police officers face protecting and serving their communities.
As America was entrenched in a heated debate over police matters in the U.S., active Police Service Area 7 sergeant Jordan Castro patrolled by day and wrote by night.
Inspired by the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Castro, a Riverdale native and son of Cuban immigrants, penned something much deeper than a typical police thriller.
In his debut novel, ‘Smoke and Mirrors: Police Dreams,’ the 37-year-old Manhattan College alum reflects upon modern American society and the profession of policing during the ‘Police Era,’ one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history.
A term coined by Castro, the Police Era refers to the current public fascination of police matters in this social media driven world.
Writing from the frontlines, he framed the tale against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement.
His intention for Smoke and Mirrors was not to portray all cops as heroes, but rather illustrate how the most well-intentioned, morally sound police officers can get in over their heads.
“Cops are human beings with flaws,” expressed Castro. “Earning a badge and carrying a gun does not automatically remove us from the rest of the population. This is a universal American story about striving and how disparate worlds collide every day on the streets of NYC.”
His literary work follows hard charging rookie cop, Brandon Rose, investigating an unsolved quadruple homicide which began on Ash Wednesday 2007.
The overzealous climber befriends 16-year-old Giselle, a sexually precocious lookout for a pack of monstrous drug dealers and manipulates a taboo relationship in the hopes she will reveal the Ash Wednesday killers’ identities.
Should Giselle fall for Rose, she may risk her life and his career, shattering Rose’s dreams of obtaining the coveted gold NYPD Detective Shield.
The Xlibris published novel explores such themes as the contemporary debate around police-involved civilian deaths, police assassinations and community strife and distrust.
Serving on the Force since 2006, Castro became a sergeant in 2013 and currently trains police officers in the south Bronx.
He was first assigned to the 48th Precinct and has worked at least one day in every Bronx precinct.
The novel is set in the fictitious 51st Precinct inspired by West Farms where Castro worked the beat his rookie year.
His intricately layered story serves many purposes including a social commentary and even a religious allegory.
The novel details Rose’s examination over the 40 days of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding on Easter Sunday.
“It rewards second readings,” he noted.
Smoke and Mirrors took a year to write and a total of five to six months to edit.
“Writing it was relatively easy because I was passionate about it and had a tremendous amount of material to work with from my experiences as a police officer,” he shared.
Smoke and Mirrors is available via Amazon, www.barne
For additional information, visit www.smoke