NYPD lieutenant finds inspiration for second novel in tumultuous 2020

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Not every New Yorker binged on Netflix last year: NYPD Lt. Jordan Castro penned his second novel, with police suicides, COVID-19 and the George Floyd protests providing real-life inspiration.

“The Great Silent Roar,” which is about a writer saved from a George Washington Bridge suicide leap by an NYPD sergeant who happens to be his best friend, was Castro’s way of dealing with a year like no other.

“It was cathartic,” Castro explained. “Dealing with people that I lost to COVID, dealing with people that I lost to suicide, writing the book helped lift my spirits. It energized me. And in the course of writing it, Black Lives Matter and police reform enter the novel. It sparked a good dialogue, intelligent and rational and reasonable conversations with people in my life.

“I hope it sparks that dialogue for people who read it.”

Castro is assigned to the 32nd Precinct, in Harlem, not far from where he grew up in Washington Heights.

From his first day on patrol in 2006, he knew he had entered a world where he’d experience enough to write a dozen novels.

But the spark for the first one didn’t come until Dec. 20, 2014, the day officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were executed in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Social media postings that day, he remembered, were a mix of comfort, with fellow cops expressing their grief, and rage, with police painted in a most negative light.

“I wasn’t going to go on Facebook and rant and post this long diatribe,” Castro said. “That’s when I really said, ‘You know what? I’m going to put this on the pages of a book and this tragedy is going help propel me through whatever it takes to complete a novel.”

Castro’s first book, “Smoke and Mirrors: Police Dreams,” was published in 2017. It explores the often-tense relationship between police officers and the neighborhoods they patrol.

Now 41, Castro, a married father with two small children, will likely have some fun with his next book.

“I want to write something for my kids,” he said. “So that’s definitely a priority. And I do want to write a love story for my wife.

“I promised her.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting