FICTION

Lamentation

Oceanview. Oct. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9781608091331. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781608091348. F
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In the midst of a frigid winter in New Hampshire's north country, Jay Porter is trying to make ends meet in Ashton, the small town where he lived as a young child. Jay was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in Concord after his parents were killed, their car careening off Lamentation Bridge, but he visited Ashton every weekend and moved back as soon as he could. Now his ex-girlfriend, their two-year-old son, and his drug-addicted older brother Chris all live there, so where else would Jay reside? After Chris's business partner goes missing and then Chris vanishes, Jay tries to track his brother down and clear his name. In the process, he uncovers secrets of the most powerful family in town and must face some of his own as well.
VERDICT Clifford's fourth book (after Choice Cuts, Wake the Undertaker, and Junkie Love) paints a bleak but honest picture of northern New England. A taut thriller rendered in vivid prose, this book contains only a few surprises but builds a relentless, compelling momentum. Recommended for noir lovers and readers of novels set in New England.

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