Book of the Day

 

20180605CoverBrokenGroundJoeClifford
BROKEN GROUND

By Joe Clifford

Oceanview Publishing
$26.95
ISBN 978-1608092437
Publication Date:  June 5, 2018

 

 

BROKEN GROUND

Review by Danny Lindsey

Jay Porter doesn’t want to be an investigator. If he did, he’d get a license. But clients keep finding him. In Broken Ground (Oceanview Publishing, 2018), the latest in Joe Clifford’s Porter series, the client, and Jay have a history, of sorts. She crashes an AA meeting he’s attending, he an alcoholic and she bearing the tell-tale marks of more serious drug use.

Her sister is missing, and the police are not an avenue she’s willing to pursue. The retainer she hands over goes straight into child support, as his “Sanford and Son” estate cleaning business is in as big a slump as his personal life.

Things aren’t as they seem, right from the onset. Her sister either was or was not a user, dependent upon whomever he asks. She either was or was not accepted, then summarily discharged from a local treatment center. The answer becomes moot when people start dying, and the trail leads all the way back 5 years to a former case, a prominent family, big money and an epidemic of cancer. Jay finds himself embroiled in his own brother’s death a year before, his client’s case, a family with whom he’s crossed paths before and who has engaged local law enforcement to keep him at arm’s length, and a toxic piece of real estate.

The plot takes one through unsuspected twists, much closer to home than even Jay Porter would have wanted, had he been the writer instead of the protagonist. Don’t look for the clues that give the ending away. You’ll only find them after the fact.

Joe Clifford writes with authority and authenticity. His characters’ fatal flaws are not imagined by him – they’ve either been lived by him or observed first-hand by him. Broken Ground, along with the other books in the Jay Porter series are frighteningly real, almost to the point that the reader keeps checking to see whether they are fiction, historical fiction or non-fiction.

Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L.  based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website www.ssv.org, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.

Update:  Danny won the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award with his manuscript Serial Justice –  so he will not be unpublished for long!