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Broken Ground (Jay Porter #4)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  48 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews

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 Co

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Oceanview Publishing
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Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
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 re
Linda Strong

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.
Benoit Lelièvre
I could scream the merits of Joe Clifford's writing into the void until I lose my voice, but you couldn't possibly understand unless you dedicated yourself to the Jay Porter novels like you would to a television show.

Broken Ground is rewarding in a way the first three novels weren't because it unravels mysteries you weren't sure were mysteries until this point: notably, what is the Lombardi brothers' endgame. It also has Shakespearean edges as Jay Porter comes to term with his fate. Gripping, mo
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like Block's Matt Scudder, Jay Porter spends a lot of time in AA meetings now, but this rural noir is a distinctly different animal than a gritty city crime story. It's a cold, bare New England winter. Porter's lost friends to booze, his wife has walked out, and he's eking out an existence in an apartment that ought to be condemned. Half the town thinks he's half-mad and no one seems to believe a word he says. He's the classic pulp antihero out own his own with barely anyone to lean on and maybe ...more
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley to read and review.

BROKEN GROUND by Joe Clifford is the 4th book in the Jay Porter series, and picks up with Jay at an AA meeting as he gets up the courage to tell his story to the group, but his attention is distracted by a very attractive woman who seems to be eyeing him as well.

Soon after he’s finished speaking, she approaches him and talks with him as if she knows him, but also tries to b.s. him at the same time. Amy is the
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#4 in Clifford's outstanding Jay Porter series set in new Hampshire and we see Jay finally starting to put his life back together. He's going to AA, he owns his own company.........but he just can't resist dabbling in another missing persons case, this one a young woman who has gone missing from a drug rehab facility, which makes no sense, since this is a woman everyone swears has never taken drugs. Well, of course, that leads to Jay knocking heads with several unsavory characters while the loca ...more
Michael Moore
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That’s right. I finished it the same damn day because it was that good. I could not put this book down. I love the Jay Porter series and Broken Ground was my favorite. I identify with the Jay Porters of the world and I can not wait to see what Joe Clifford has in store for him. Do not miss this book, or series for that matter.
Bonnye Reed
GNab 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 H ...more
Mike Hughes
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
keeps getting better and better. this is the best one yet!!
J. Noalani
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Fast Paced, Emotionally Intense Novel

Joe Clifford writes with insight, compassion, and at times, acerbic humor about characters who are marginalized in society. In Broken Ground, he presents Jay Porter, a flawed protagonist, whose soul is lay bare through the telling of his story at A.A. meetings, his interactions with those close to him, and his own impulsive behaviors. Jay, however, resides in a society shrouded in a veneer of secrecy and corruption, and as such, he stands diametrically oppo
Jennifer Nowak
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
*I received this ARC from NetGalley and Ocean view Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

Broken Ground is the 4th book in Joe Clifford's Jay Porter series and like its three predecessors, it definitely does not disappoint!

Again Jay, who never seems to learn from previous experiences, is caught up in something he shouldn't be while trying to help someone else locate a missing relative.

Clifford's descriptive writing style and in-depth characterization again take you to the book's locale and
Breakaway Reviewers

This is the fourth in Clifford’s Jay Porter series and, in each book, Jay seems to have even lower self-esteem and even more righteous rage!

Jay’s life hasn’t been easy and, based on his experience so far, he holds no hope for a better future; but he is basically a good guy trying to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. The trouble is that trouble follows him like a hungry and stray dog.

When we pick up Jay he has just qualified for his first AA token, having not touched beer for
Reader Views
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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’
Mike Bracken
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Joe Clifford’s Jay Porter has had a tough row to hoe over the first three books in the series. He’s lost his family, friends, allies, his wife and son…and yet, somehow Clifford finds a way to make things even more difficult for Porter in Broken Ground, the fourth book in the series.

While some readers ding Clifford’s series for featuring an unlikable protagonist who’s his own worst enemy, Broken Ground opens with a new Jay Porter. He’s still curmudgeonly and often acts against his own bes
Chuck Barksdale
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Oceanview Publishing and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

Broken Ground is Joe Clifford’s fourth book about Jay Porter in one of my favorite current series. With his former boss Tom Gable moving to Florida, Porter is now working on his own buying and selling furniture and other items mostly from estate sales. The good news for him is that he’s able to see his son more since his ex-wife and her husband have returned to the area. He’s also
Liam Sweeny
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
I've enjoyed the Jay Porter series immensely, and Broken Ground did not disappoint. It begins with estate-clearer and sometimes private eye Jay Porter, in AA, where he meets up with an old friend, with whom he sparks up, not an old romance, but a new case--the disappearance of her sister from a rehab facility owned by local heavyweights (and Jay's nemeses) Adam and Michael Lombardi. The case takes Jay on a disjointed runaway train ride through mountain passes and secrets that have a body count.. ...more
S.L. Hoyte
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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.

Read my review on the Reader Views Goodreads page and at
InD'tale Magazine

“Broken Ground” is part of the Jay Porter series but stands well on its own and is written in first person point of view.

Read full review in the 2018 March issue of InD'tale Magazine.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Once again Joe Clifford takes us into the freezing winter of his hero's heart. Jay Porter can't catch a break although his heart is pure. I hope the next book shows him on the lam in Florida, just to see how he takes the heat. Always a pleasure.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story, with a great thrilling plot!! Look forward to more by this author! Cannot recommend highly enough.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is my first book in this series but I am happy that I did not really feel anything odd ,reading this as a standalone. Good character development , just the right amount of drama , and good humor. The mystery part is not that much spectacular but I am still waiting to read more of this series.
Heath Henwood
Broken Ground
By Joe Clifford

A Jay Porter novel.

Slow, dragged out plot.

A lot of time is invested in character development and rolling out the plot.

While is provides very detailed story background, it does nothing to engage the reader.

At an AA meeting, handyman and part-time investigator Jay Porter meets a recovering addict who needs his help to locate a missing girl. In the process he discovers incriminating evidence to Lombardi Construction, which links sinister secrets. The deeper Jay digs, the
Michelle Turlock isler
Okay, I will start with I love Joe Clifford's books and I love his style of writing. There is a lot of intense dialogue and the atmosphere of the novel takes on a character in itself. I am not just talking about the Jay Porter series, I am talking about all of Clifford's books. They are intense and just pull you into the setting of the story.
Broken Ground is my favorite in the Jay Porter series. It is raw and the story flows and keeps you so engrossed that you cannot stop reading it. I seriously
Jud Hanson
Jay Porter of New Hampshire makes a living cleaning out estates and doing odd jobs for friends. He’s hit a low point in his life after losing his brother to a violent crime and choosing alcohol over his marriage. His life takes a strange turn when he encounters a high school classmate at an AA meeting who wants him to look for her sister, who has seemingly disappeared. He reluctantly agrees, having been in trouble with the local law for investigating crimes without a P.I. license. Before he know ...more
Rory Costello
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always a good sign when you feel that tug of urgency in your stomach as you're reading, telling you to press on and finish the story. That happened with the last entry in this series ("Give Up the Dead") and it happened again with this one.

What I like in particular about this entry is that it takes the overarching story line of the series up another level. In the way it tackles power and corruption, now it's really in the same vein as Robert Towne's "Chinatown."

Jay Porter has also come to r
Linda grimes
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another successful book in the Jay Porter series. It can be read as a standalone; if you don't know the series but enjoy this book, you can go back and get the other stories to fill in some of the back story on Jay Porter. The book has depth and the characters seem like real people, often damaged by life and circumstance. the mystery is compelling and will keep you enthralled until the end.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
another good entry in the Jay Porter series, this time we find Jay taking stock of his life and in a more settled state of mind or at least trying to be. he is still on his meds, but he is dealing with the death of his close friend and the responsibility of being his own boss in the estate clearing business. part of this settling down also involves AA as he has given up his nightly six packs as part of being a more stabilizing influence for visits with his son. however AA is where he meets an ol ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Frantic and frenetic with maximum personal pronouns.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, noir
Joe Clifford’s Broken Ground takes us further into his unconventional hero’s life. An Everyman we can readily relate to, Jay Porter is an estate-clearing handyman with PTSD stemming from his brother's suicide-by-cop. In this fourth book, Jay’s ex-wife (Jennie), her new husband, and Jay's son, Aidan, have moved into a MacMansion closer to him so he can spend more time with his son. Jay has given up alcohol and is working on quitting smoking, as he makes headway into being a better part-time dad. ...more
Adrienne K Fiedler
rated it really liked it
Jul 18, 2018
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Joe Clifford is acquisitions editor for Gutter Books and producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland, CA. Joe is the author of several books, including Junkie Love, Lamentation, and December Boys, as well as editor of Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Stories Based on the Songs of Bruce Springsteen. Joe’s writing can be found at

More about Joe Clifford

Other books in the series

Jay Porter (4 books)
  • Lamentation (Jay Porter, #1)
  • December Boys (Jay Porter Thrillers, #2)
  • Give Up the Dead (Jay Porter, #3)