Anthony Award Nominee for Best Novel in a Series
A brother's love knows no bounds—even in death
Three years have passed since estate-clearing handyman Jay Porter almost lost his life following a devastating accident on the thin ice of Echo Lake. His investigative work uncovering a kids-for-cash scandal may have made his hometown of Ashton, New Hampshire, a safer place, but nothing comes without a price. The traumatic, uncredited events cost Jay his wife and his son, and left him with a permanent leg injury.
Jay is just putting his life back together when a mysterious stranger stops by with an offer too good to be true: a large sum of cash in exchange for finding a missing teenage boy who may have been abducted by a radical recovery group in the northern New Hampshire wilds.
Skeptical of gift horses and weary of reenlisting in the local drug war, Jay passes on the offer. The next day his boss is found beaten and left for dead, painting Jay the main suspect. As clues begin to tie the two cases together, Jay finds himself back on the job—and back in the line of fire.
Perfect for fans of Dennis Lehane's Mystic River
While all of the novels in the Jay Porter Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:
Give Up the Dead
Rag and Bone
In Clifford's unrelentingly bleak third Jay Porter novel (after 2016's December Boys), the 34-year-old New Hampshire estate clearer spends a lot of time bemoaning his fate. Porter doesn't have a lot going for him he's divorced; his best friend, Charlie Finn, is a boozer; and his abrasive personality doesn't endear him to competitors like Sheriff Rob Turley, a former schoolmate. A stranger calling himself Vin Biscoglio shows up at Porter's door and says he works for wealthy Ethan Crowder. Crowder wants to hire Porter to locate his 16-year-old son, Phillip, who may be at an addiction rehab place called Rewrite Interventions at his mother's behest. When Porter's boss, Tom Gable, is attacked and left in a coma, Porter becomes a suspect. Porter gets embroiled in both cases, which turn out to have a common genesis. Readers may struggle to relate to Porter, an unwilling sleuth who gets banged around but keeps plodding forward in this dreary outing.