Best Budding Author - 2008
Nobody has seen the underbelly of Orange County like we have, so we've got to admit that Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard nailed it with his crime-noir novel Snitch Jacket. The cover images for the paperback edition, which is out now, leave no doubt that Goffard's tale won't win Chamber of Commerce approval. There are two less-than-flattering photographs of deteriorating, single-story shops on a portion of Costa Mesa's Harbor Boulevard that has been unable to emerge from the 1960s. As a gift to those of us who appreciate dark humor, a lone, nearly dead palm tree helps frame one picture. With that backdrop, Goffard—who writes for his paper's Orange County edition—has imagined a world set in the Greasy Tuesday, a bar that brings together characters such as overeducated misfit Benny Bunt, a 41-year-old dishwasher and snitch, and ex-con bouncer Gus "Mad Dog" Miller. We're not going to tell you what happens. Read the book. If you like Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard, you'll dig Goffard, too.