Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Friday, December 5, 2008

12 Best for 2008 - The Snitch Jacket, by Christopher Goffard (trade, $14.95)

[This is one of Nick's two picks for 2008.]

Benny Bunt is a low-life. He deals and uses drugs; he drives a Schwinn to work where he washes dishes ... or used to before the hairy Greek man who runs the high-end Mexican restaurant caught him slipping Ex-Lax into a customer's chorizo and fired him; he's a confidential informant (rat, fink, snitch) for a cop named Munoz who busted him trying to sell weed at a Little League game; and his eyes are set too close together. Benny rats on his friends because they are even lower than he is, and the one universal truth, according to Benny, is that everyone despises anyone who is lower than he is.

Enter Gus "Mad Dog" Miller -- ex-con, ex-black-ops, with the tattoos and lack of impulse control to prove it -- and his half-blind, psychic dog Jesse James. Mad Dog is now the bouncer at Benny's favorite hangout, the Greasy Tuesday, and Benny wants despeartely to be his friend. This professional low-life snitch wants to be trusted by a guy who has no problem sticking a guy with the jagged end of a broken pool cue simply for being disrespectful. What could possibly go wrong? Well, Mad Dog could ask Benny to help him with a contract killing ... for starters.

Written skillfully and humorously and with a fearless attitude toward the English language, Snitch Jacket will appeal to those who like their fiction to have that truthful stink, that unwashed, serrated edge that makes every line of every page cut that much deeper.

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