Joe Clifford’s Give Up the Dead takes us further into his unconventional hero’s life. An Everyman we can readily relate to, Jay Porter is an estate-clearing handyman. In this third book, Jay’s wife has divorced him, taken their child, married a rich man, and moved into a MacMansion. As Jay settles into the life of a part-time dad, no-time ex-husband, he is unwillingly drawn into another mystery. He puts himself at risk to do the right thing. Clifford’s clues are subtle enough that you quickly realize that if it’s on the page, it’s important. And, as always in the Jay Porter series, the cold climate is a character in itself, wearing on body and soul. Looking forward to Jay Porter #4 and hoping he eventually gets laid by a good woman.
The American Dream is great as long as you don’t wake up.
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.