Jay Porter, the newest employee at NorthEastern Insurance in New Hampshire, is investigating a motor vehicle accident claim when he learns the teenager behind the wheel was arrested for minor drug possession and sentenced to a hardcore behavioral modification center.
At the county courthouse, Jay meets Nicki, a young college intern, who tips him off to a possible scandal—first-time juvenile offenders being shipped to private institutions for political kickbacks. Later, he learns that long-time family nemeses, Adam and Michael Lombardi, may have a stake in the scheme.
Is Jay’s mission to help these kids a legitimate crusade? Or is his thirst for revenge driven by the guilt he feels over his own junkie brother’s death? These questions conspire to tear apart tranquility and drive a wedge between Jay and his wife Jenny. With help from new friend Nicki, and a couple of old friends, Jay finds himself thrust back into a past he had hoped to leave behind, putting everything—and everyone he loves—at risk in pursuit of the truth.
“Taut, breathless, stark, and powerful, December Boys yanks you along like a raft on a whitewater river.”
—Sara J. Henry, award-winning author of A Cold and Lonely Place
“Lamentation is a noir saga of the America that isn't in TV commercials: fast-paced and wrenching, yet somehow infused with an uplifting spirit of love and redemption. Original, insightful, energetic, an intriguing saga of our modern lives and perils.”
—James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor
“December Boys is more than great noir, or great crime fiction—it's great fiction, period. Spare and gritty, Joe Clifford's depiction of America’s seedy underbelly combines razor-sharp dialogue with a compelling story and nakedly honest characters.”
—Allan Leverone, New York Times best-selling author of the Tracie Tanner Thriller Series
“Clifford's writing is lean, like a prizefighter, except instead of only hitting you (it does that too), December Boys is willing to be vulnerable, beautiful. Sure, there's muscle and brawn, but it's that tangle of tenderness, elevating the prose to an emotional experience that stays with you long after you flip the final page.”
—Joshua Mohr, author of All This Life