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Lamentation (The Jay Porter Series) Hardcover – October 7, 2014
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Some books live on in your mind long after you put them down, and Lamentation is one of them. The novel s perfectly constructed plot unfolds with the thoughtful precision and menace of a cat burglar. The pervasive atmosphere of psychological suspense ratchets up a notch with each page turned. Most of all, it was the voice of Jay Porter, the book's protagonist, that grabbed me from the start cocky and smart, sarcastic yet soulful, barely able to keep his life together yet determined to help his troubled brother. Joe Clifford s talent is exceptional. --Hilary Davidson, author of "Blood Always Tells"
In"Lamentation", Joe Clifford displays the same muscular prose, unsparing insight and generous heart he exhibited in his stunning debut, "Junkie Love". This tale of small-town secrets and the troubled, unfathomable, unbreakable bond of brothers reminded me of Scott Smith s"A Simple Plan", high praise. Joe Clifford is a talent to be recognized, and I predict readers will remember his name for a long time.
--David Corbett, award-winning author
Clifford paints true-to-life characters with the same gritty touch as the best of Dennis Lehane. Straightforward and edgy, Lamentation gnaws with nail-biting tension on every page. A must-read for contemporary hardboiled mystery fans who appreciate the type of terse dialogue and real life conflicts and settings Elmore Leonard so richly brought to life. --Robert Dugoni, author of The Conviction
Jay Porter is a solid New England guy who s had a troubled life. His parents died in an auto accident under suspicious circumstances when he was a kid. His brother is a drug addict. He and his girl have split up. He barely knows his young son. He makes ends meet by doing odd jobs. Yet when his brother is suspected of murdering his business partner, Jay s staunch character and moral code compel him to help his sibling and stare down his personal demons. From its compelling opening through its stunning climax, Lamentation is deftly plotted, immensely readable and artfully executed. This story is as chilling as a winter day in Northern New Hampshire."--Sheldon Siegel, New York Times best-selling author
About the Author
From homeless junkie to successful author, Joe Clifford has dedicated his life to education and the craft of writing and helping other ex-junkies find a voice and a platform for their creative energies. He is the author of several acclaimed books, including Lamentation and December Boys in the Jay Porter series. He lives with this wife and two sons in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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His life has always been hard. His parents were killed in a car crash when he was 8 years old and he went to live with an aunt and uncle while his brother, Chris, who is 10 years older, went off the deep end and has been in and out of drug rehab ever since.
Now Chris is in trouble and he's dragged Jay into it and Jay is trying his best to figure out whether Chris is just full of conspiracy theories or if there's some truth to his bizarre claims.
I enjoyed this dark thriller set in freezing cold and snowy Ashton, New Hampshire. It's the first book in a series with Jay Porter as the protagonist and author Joe Clifford is exceptional at painting some dark, twisted word pictures - about hardscrabble lives and drug addiction.
"Her skirt hitched enough to reveal a stretched-out red thong that had probably been peeled more times than bulk potatoes in a soup kitchen."
I am now off to read the next book in the series DECEMBER BOYS.
I am totally in love with this fascinating New Hampshire Noir series, literate, intriguing, with a die-hard protagonist. Jay Porter is thirty, with an ex-girlfriend he still loves and a toddler son, Aiden. Orphaned at age eight, when both parents died in a suspicious vehicle fatality, Jay has long been the caretaker for his decade-old brother Chris, who failed the promise of his high-school wrestling stardom to fall into the drug abyss. Jay lives a purely working-class existence as a seasonal estate cleaner in a state where winter is a serious business.
But Jay Porter rises above his adversity. He is an individual of massive integrity. No matter what, failures and troubles, beatings and loss of loved ones, job loss, alcoholism, he perseveres, and he always strives to choose the right option. An admirable protagonist is he.