Broken Ground

Broken Ground

by Joe Clifford


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Perfect for readers who appreciate the novels of Dennis Lehane with deeply flawed characters struggling to walk the righteous path.

At an AA meeting, handyman and part-time investigator Jay Porter meets a recovering addict who needs his help. In the midst of another grueling northern New Hampshire winter, Amy Lupus’ younger sister, Emily, has gone missing from the Coos County Center, the newly opened rehab run by Jay’s old nemeses, Adam and Michael Lombardi. As Jay begins looking into Emily’s disappearance, he finds that all who knew Emily swear that she’s never used drugs. She’s a straight shooter and an intern at a newspaper investigating the Center and the horrendous secret hidden in it—or beneath it.

When Jay learns of a “missing” hard drive, he is flung back to five years ago when his own junkie brother, Chris, found a hard drive belonging to Lombardi Construction. For years Jay assumed that the much-sought-after hard drive contained incriminating photos of Adam and Michael’s father, which contributed to Chris’ death. But now he believes that hard drive may have harbored a secret far more sinister, which the missing Lupus sister may have unwittingly discovered. The deeper Jay digs, the more poisoned the ground gets, and the two cases become one, yielding a toxic truth with local fallout—and far-reaching ramifications.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608093489
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Series: Jay Porter Mystery Series , #4
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

A former homeless junkie, 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 a graduate of Central Connecticut State University and holds an MFA degree from Florida International University. He is the acquisitions editor for Gutter Books and the producer of Lip Service West, a gritty reading series in Oakland, California. Clifford is the author of several acclaimed books—two of which were Anthony Award nominees: Lamentation , his first novel in the Jay Porter series, and his anthology (editor) Trouble in the Heartland . Broken Ground is the fourth novel in his Jay Porter series. In all his Jay Porter novels, Clifford uses the backdrop of drug abuse to shine a light on the misunderstood and marginalized, while weaving personal tragedies into narratives that compel and transcend as well as entertain. Clifford lives with his wife, Justine, and two sons in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Broken Ground 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (2/18) “Broken Ground” is the latest book in ‘The Jay Porter Series’ by Joe Clifford. Recovering addict, Amy Lupus, needs help. Her little sister Emily has gone missing from Coos County Center, an addiction treatment and recovery center owned by Jay’s nemeses, Adam and Michael Lombardi. Jay is averse to getting involved in anything having to do with the Lombardi brothers, but somewhat reluctantly agrees to help. The thing is, Emily Lupus is no junkie – she’s a student, interning at a local newspaper, investigating a toxic secret buried beneath the grounds of the treatment center. With mega bucks at stake, several highly influential people are motivated to keep the dark secret quiet– at any cost. When Jay learns there is a missing hard drive involved, his interest in the matter piques – he knows this case is somehow connected to his brother’s death and will stop at nothing to find the truth. Jay’s already been warned to stay out of the investigating business, but he can’t seem to help himself, and as trouble follows him wherever he goes, his meddling continues to bring disaster to the people who dare to get close to him. “Broken Ground” is such an amazing read I devoured it in two days. The writing is electric, fresh and contemporary as Clifford draws his readers in with his candid characters, chilling suspense and sinister plotline. As this is the first book I’ve read in the series, I realize I am late to the Jay Porter party—but wow—I am now a fan. All said, I can tell you that this story is so well-told that there was absolutely no point in the narrative where I felt I was missing anything. It is a solid standalone novel, but I am inspired to go back and read the rest of the series because it is so good – not to play catch up. The characters really drive this story. Clifford’s intimate relationship with addiction brings an authentic representation of the protagonist and some of the side players in the story. Jay Porter is the first to admit his flaws and it is exactly those flaws that reach out to the reader and demand your devotion. His descriptions of life inside the halls of AA and dealing with the colorful personalities found within the rooms had me howling. From the lady who doesn’t have a place to live (or a job, or any money), yet thinks her biggest issue is moving through the grief of her cat (that’s been dead for six years), to the old-timer who is a jillion years sober handing out unsolicited advice on what constitutes sobriety when he sees Jay popping anti-anxiety meds, I just couldn’t get enough. As well, Clifford also hits on the darker side of addiction and those who succumb to the disease, and pay the ultimate price. These scenes are a thousand times more terrifying than anything that could be imagined, sending chills up my spine every time. With an intense, creative plot, vivid settings and multi-dimensional characters, readers will be hard pressed to put this book down once they start reading. Jay Porter’s revitalized determination for justice at the end of “Broken Ground” promises yet another exciting story to come. Five stars to Joe Clifford for a brilliant, entertaining thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this series is torture. But I do it. Maybe it’s some kind of penance. Hated the ending, and I’ll only read one more in this series. Time to wrap it up.
Ludwigrocker More than 1 year ago
This is Jay's 4th outing from a great author, Joe Clifford. Been reading Jay since Book 1. And I must tell ya, Mr. Clifford seems to be opening up, and letting Jay Porter loose, with each successive novel in this series. Though not a P.I., he has been known to help folks out with problems, that local law enforcement won't. Suffering loss in his life, Jay seems to want to right the wrongs, of folks like his late brother, and will do whatever it takes to bring justice who needs it. Great read and looking forward to Jay's next outing!!
mweinreich More than 1 year ago
4 keep me going with a wonderful protagonist stars Jay Porter is a good guy. He might be a bit on the rough side, a recovering alcoholic, a divorced man, and a bit resourceful in using his fists, but deep down, he is a good man. While at an AA meeting, Jay is approached by a woman Amy, who asks for his help because her sister, Emily is missing. Jay is a man who brokers house possessions (in order words cleans out houses of dead people) but also dabbles in finding people who are missing. Jay is reluctant to pursue Emily but agrees and then the mystery of her disappearance takes on that sinister, bad guys journey through New Hampshire. This is the fourth book in the series and Jay has had run ins with a powerful family, the Lombardis before and of course this family again seems to be involved in the nefarious goings on and wonder of wonders there is also some political villainy (who knew that could ever happen???) The deeper Jay digs, the more he finds and even sees a connection between his dead junkie brother Chris to the happenings he is so involved in. Mr Clifford kept the action going and in Jay Porter he has developed a character one can't help but like and hope that if ever needed, Jay would be in your corner.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Jay Porter is a man beset by demons ... demons that he is doing everything in his power to dispel. Jay is an alcoholic .. although he's been sober for months. He's lost a lot lately ... his parents, his brother, his wife and son, his job, his best friend who drank himself to death, and two women who couldn't/wouldn't handle his issues. But he is on the right path. He's started his own business which is doing well. He attends his meetings religiously ... and that's where things get a little crazy. At an AA meeting, he is accosted by a woman who is also a recovering addict. She asks for Jay's help in locating her sister, who's gone missing. She checked herself into a new rehab center and then disappeared. Since Jay has been involved in some previous missing persons that he's discovered, Amy Lupus turns to Jay. When he goes to investigate, he finds out things that relate back to the Lombardi family ... influential in their community... but there are secrets that only Jay knows ..which makes him very dangerous to leave walking around. And then things really heat up when Amy's sister is found ... dead of a broken neck. Who would want Amy dead? What did she know that she shouldn't have? The deeper Jay digs, the more poisoned the ground gets ... and the danger may be closer than he thinks. Jay is a deeply flawed character, but a good guy underneath the rough exterior. He has a lot of regrets and feels a lot of guilt, but he keeps on the path to recovery ... one day at a time. There's a lot of suspense, with several suspects to look at ... all with one motive or another ..and who does not like Jay poking his nose in their business. Although 4th in a series, this easily reads as a stand alone. There's just enough information from previous books so the reader doesn't feel as though he/she is jumping in the middle with no directional help. After reading BROKEN GROUND, it's just whet my appetite to read the others. Many thanks to the author / Oceanview Publishing / Edelweiss for the digital copy of this crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
Broken Ground is one of those fast paced well plotted mystery novels that keep you up at night. Jay Porter catches you first page as he does his 9 month anniversary share and receives his chip at an AA meeting, with a fresh re-introduction to high school hottie Amy Lupus. She needs his help finding her younger sister. But Jay isn't an unlicensed private investigator any longer. If he is going to keep his ex-wife Jenny and 6 year old son Aiden safe since their move back home to Ashton, New Hampshire with her new husband Stephen, he will abide by the advice of local sheriff Rob Turley and confine his interests to his recent buy out of his long-time boss Tom Gable in their estate clearing business, Everything Under the Sun. And to keep his nose out of the Lombardi brother's business. If he can stand to do that. Winter and early spring in mountainous New Hampshire is presented very viscerally. Obviously there are people who relish such bone-chilling beauty. Broken Ground was enough of a visual to assure me that I would only want to visit between the covers of Joe Clifford's novels. I am well placed in the mountains of the high plains desert, but I am looking very forward to reading Jay Porter one through three, and hope there will be many more with this interesting, quirky character. I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Joe Clifford, and Oceanview Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.