Book one of the Jay Porter Series.
In a frigid New Hampshire winter, Jay Porter is trying to eke out a living and maintain some semblance of a relationship with his former girlfriend and their two-year-old son. When he receives an urgent call that Chris, his drug-addicted brother, is being questioned by the sheriff about his missing junkie business partner, Jay feels obliged to come to his rescue. After Jay negotiates his brother's release from the county jail, Chris disappears into the night. As Jay begins to search for him, he is plunged into a cauldron of ugly lies and long-kept secrets that could tear apart his small hometown and threaten the lives of Jay and all those he holds dear. Powerful forces come into play that will stop at nothing until Chris is dead and the information he harbors is destroyed.
“Lamentation is one of those 'can't put it down' page turners of a read and documents author Joe Clifford as a gifted storyteller of imagination and technical expertise. Lamentation is a deftly written entertainment from first page to last and highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Fiction collections." —Midwest Book Review
“At first, I confess this was not very exciting. I had little or no interest in our first-person protagonist and the basic situation seemed rather obvious. Except it winds up into a very unexpected climax of considerable emotional power. So what was initially, and even in retrospect, a pretty simple, by-the-numbers plot with a resolution we’ve seen before, turns out to be a genuine success. Despite all my forebodings, this simple little thing proved to be a real big hitter.” —Thinking About Books/Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review
“VERDICT - Clifford’s fourth book (after Choice Cuts, Wake the Undertaker, and Junkie Love) paints a bleak but honest picture of northern New England. A taut thriller rendered in vivid prose, this book contains only a few surprises but builds a relentless, compelling momentum. Recommended for noir lovers and readers of novels set in New England.” —Library Journal
“Clifford (Junkie Love) understands human potential for moral collapse and redemption, and his lean, gritty prose never lets characters or readers off the hook.” —Publishers Weekly
“Although technically a mystery (there is a murder and we have to wait until the end of the book to find out whodunit), Lamentation is more specifically about co-dependency. Drugs kill, but the very act of loving a drug addict can be fatal, too. Rather than focusing on the present, or even the future, Jay remains chained to the past, to a time when his brother helped raise him after their parents were killed in an automobile accident. This lingering loyalty almost proves fatal to them both. Although Jay believes he’s a realist, his loyalties are to a man who doesn’t really exist anymore; he’s a loser who spreads heartbreak like a virus. But family is family, author Clifford seems to be saying in this touching, insightful novel, and we take what we can get―whatever the damage to ourselves.” —Mystery Scene Magazine
“Lamentation takes place in a small town in northern New Hampshire. The El Cerrito author of Junkie Love again uses his personal life experience, but this time he weaves the narrative around a murder mystery. The protagonist, Jay Porter, goes on a quest to help his junkie brother get out of jail. The plot escalates quickly when his brother ends up missing, and Jay gets in way over his head as he tries to protect his former girlfriend and their toddler. Lamentation is a suspenseful page-turner that may jangle your nerves.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Joe Clifford writes from experience. He spent a decade on the streets before getting back on track to make writing his life. In addition to Lamentation, Joe is the award-winning author of Choice Cuts, Wake the Undertaker, and Junkie Love, as well as editor of the forthcoming Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Stories Based on the Songs of Bruce Springsteen. He is also the Acquisitions Editor for Gutter Books, Managing Editor of The Flash Fiction Offensive, and producer of Lip Service West, a "gritty, real, raw" reading series in Oakland, CA. Joe currently lives in California with his wife, Justine, and their son.
Timothy McKean is an audiobook narrator, voice talent, and educator living and working in Hesperia, California. Tim works full time narrating audiobooks, elearning courses, and corporate training and tutorial videos. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Azusa Pacific University where he teaches courses in video production, web design, digital imaging, teaching with the web, and podcasting for teachers learning to use digital media to enhance their students’ classroom experience. Look for Tim behind the mic of other Cherry Hill Publishing titles including The Raven Mocker, by Aiden James and The Boys Club by Angie Martin.