Brick City Blues is both a descriptive title and an analogy; Brick City is Newark, New Jersey, an urban area riddled with drugs, gangs, and other assorted street crime. Blues is meant to describe both the mood the depressing conditions induce and to draw the reader’s attention to the policing in the story. The setting in this story is a depressing period in Newark history: over sixty police officers were laid off without warning in 2010, leading to an increase in street crime at a time when it was slowly peaking. The lack of manpower led to the brutal murder of a young police officer shortly after the layoffs. This story is a fictional account of the murder and how it could theoretically affect the drug market at a time when the police department is overworked and understaffed.