After reading MARA SHALHOUP's vivid and kaleidoscopic exploration of the Black Mafia Family, BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family, you'll never be able to look at Atlanta's streets, Buckhead's mansions, or a line of cocaine the same again. Whether she's recounting the bright lights and big heads at a high-end nightclub or parsing the machinations of a Byzantine federal investigation, Shalhoup is a sure-footed investigator of organized crime. www.bmfbook.com
Full disclosure: Shalhoup is CL's editor in chief. Arts freelancer Wyatt Williams chose Shalhoup for this award and wrote the blurb. We trust that Wyatt was in no way influenced by Shalhoup's role at CL when he made this selection.