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Jay Porter Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jay Porter Books

Jay Porter is a crime fiction series of novels by award-winning author Joe Clifford. Joe Clifford is an American editor and author who works in the crime and mystery genres. He has spoken of his struggles with drug addiction which he asserts have had a profound influence on his writing. Clifford was born in Berlin, Connecticut and attended Central Connecticut State University. He never graduated as he quit to go pursue a career in music in San Francisco in 1992. It was in San Francisco that he hit rock bottom as by 2001 he was a heroin addict. Numerous failed attempts in, he finally made one last attempt and found that he enjoyed writing and enrolled in a creative course and earned an MFA from Florida International University. He published “Choice Cuts” a collection of short stories in 2012 followed by “Junkie Love” a memoir cum novel documenting his descent into addiction and recovery in 2013. The award-winning author has earned several accolades including an Acker Award in 2013, a nomination for the Pushcart Prize in 2012, a nomination for the Anthony Award in 2015 and 2018 as both author and editor. Professionally, he works for Lip Service West as a producer and for Gutter Books as acquisitions editor. Clifford also teaches creative writing at the website, which provides online classes. He is married to Justine with whom he has two sons.

The Jay Porter series is about a noir figure named Jay Porter, whose actions cause him despair, frustration, and despair. He thinks that he is looking for happiness and fixing his life but he only succeeds in making things worse. He struggles with becoming a parent and the responsibility it brings, not to forget that he also has to take care of his junkie brother Chris. The novels do a great job of analyzing what it means to be there for family and how people deal with the conflict and experience of guilt for the failings of family members. It tells of the pain and heartache of watching the self-destruction of family members which can end up ruining one’s own life if the guilt is allowed to fester. In the first novel of the series Jay is a thirty-year-old man who had big dreams of leaving the sleepy little town but now seems stuck. He works part-time as an estate cleaner and is separated from his girlfriend and his two-year-old child. He had lost his parents in a tragic accident but the effect had been worse on his brother Chris who has become an addict and conspiracy theory junkie. In the second novel of the series “December Boys,” Jay is living in Plasterville working in insurance and married to Jenny. He is dealing with his brother’s death and trying to become a good father and husband. He finds a conspiracy that points back to Ashton and with the help of two friends tries to unravel the mystery. But his emotional and mental state threatens to unravel everything. In “Give Up the Dead” Jay is still dealing with issues in his past including the death of his brother and parents. He just got an offer to work on an interesting case of a missing boy and with nothing to anchor his life on having lost his son and wife in the last novel, he jumps at the chance. He soon learns that there is more to the abduction than first thought.

In “Lamentation” the first novel of the Jay Porter series, we are introduced to Jay Porter a man whose life is in the doldrums. His girlfriend and mother of his child left him to go be with a biker since he never holds a steady job. While his life is a mess, he still feels responsible for his junkie brother Chris and thus when he hears that he has been picked up by the police, he immediately goes to the station to get him out. Chris is always making up stories and this time he has some conspiracy theory that the police dismiss out of hand given his junkie status. Chris and his junkie friend collect old computers and wipe the memories before selling them on. But then they find some information in one and argue on what to do with it only for his partner to end up murdered. Chris tries to explain the events but Jay is having none of it, only for Chris to go missing. It is not the first time he has gone missing but is curious as to what might have happened after they parted ways. Jay’s friend Charlie gets a private investigator but Jay is not so sure about the man who he thinks may not be the best man for the job since he is but an insurance investigator. But then they learn some interesting things that may happen to the small town, which may have nothing to do with the disappearance of Chris. Long kept ugly secrets and lies are threatening the lives of Jay and his loved ones and could tear apart the small town. There are powerful forces that are determined to destroy Chris and the information in his possession.

“December Boys” the second novel of the series opens to Jay happier than in the first novel as he now has his wife and son back living with him as a family. He also got a 9 to 5 job as an insurance investigator at NEI. His first assignment is an insurance claim that he soon finds out is fraudulent. But while questioning the boy involved in the scam, he has flashbacks of Chris his brother. The Lombardi case that involved his brother is coming back to haunt him and now he is dealing with a new case that does not sit well with him. He learns that kids are being sent to the North River Institute not for criminal activity but as part of a scam perpetrated for political kickbacks. Using his connections and the help of Nicki a courthouse employee, he soon finds out why the parents of the boys are not too perturbed with their children being taken away from them. Jay is now on a crusade to help the kids find justice but is he driven by guilt and a desire for revenge over the death of his brother? But as he dives deep into the muck and mire of the case, his blind quest to find the truth threatens to drive a wedge between him and his wife and tear apart the tranquility at home.

“Give Up the Dead” the third novel of the Jay Porter series opens to Jay involved in two investigations. One is about the son of a rich businessman that went missing. A stranger just approached him asking for his help to find the teen in exchange for a large sum of cash. He is the agent of the wealthy father of the teenage and says the boy had been abducted by a sketchy rehab facility. Jay thinks he wants nothing to do with such a case and rejects the man’s offer outright. But then something happens that ensures that he will get involved. Not long after rejecting the man’s offer, the sheriff calls him up to inform him that Tom Gable his friend and boss had been the victim of a vicious attack that almost killed him. Porter is the lead suspect in the attack and now he has to investigate to get himself out of it. But as he begins investigating he finds out that there is a connection with the missing child case. He is back on the job and right back in the line of fire.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Jay Porter

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