cover image Broken Ground: A Jay Porter Novel

Broken Ground: A Jay Porter Novel

Joe Clifford. Oceanview, $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60809-243-7

Clifford’s depressing fourth Jay Porter novel (after 2017’s Give Up the Dead) finds Jay, a 36-year-old recovering alcoholic who suffers from panic attacks, attending an AA meeting in Ashton, N.H., where he can’t help noticing Amy Lupus, an attractive woman about his age. Jay clears estates for a living, but Amy is aware that he does investigative work on the side and asks him to locate her missing sister, Emily. Emily, a drug user, is supposed to be at the Coos County Center, a new rehab facility in town, but she left. Jay reluctantly agrees to help, knowing he’s headed for trouble because the center was built by his old enemies, brothers Adam and Michael Lombardi. Jay’s nerve is soon tested when the first person he talks to about Emily gets stabbed in the neck with a screw driver. The inconclusive ending promises that Jay’s fight with the Lombardis is far from over. Clifford breaks no new ground in this downbeat crime thriller. Agent: Elizabeth Kracht, Kimberly Cameron & Assoc. (June)