December Boys: A Jay Porter novel … by Joe Clifford. This is my second Clifford novel and I’ve already ordered the first in the Jay Porter series, Lamentation. Our protagonist, Jay Porter, is an insurance claims investigator, a job he’s not fond of, which adds to a burgeoning set of issues, both personal and financial. The issues mount and serve to heighten the tension throughout this terrific novel.
The backstory to his personal angst are parents killed in a car accident, and the suicide by cop of his junkie brother just over a year ago. He’s feeling guilty about not being able to save his brother (Chris), and he’s getting panic attacks that may be fueled by an increase in alcohol intake. He’s also experiencing paranoia from a lack of sleep. He loves his wife and child, but can’t seem to get out of his own way. They’ve been having marital problems Jay doesn’t understand, mostly because he’s wrapped up in his own guilt and frustration over the circumstances surrounding his brother’s death.
Jay investigates a routine claim and discovers something is amiss. A 16 year old boy confesses to a lie that quickly snowballs into the investigation of what has become the latest scourge of our wonderfully abrasive free market economy—private prisons. Long before we get there, Jay’s wife takes their son and heads to Bernie Sanders’ Burlington, Vermont, where her mother lives. They need time apart, she tells Jay. He needs to get over his brother’s death and seek help.
On a visit to see his son, Jay is set up by his mother-in-law when Jay’s wife returns with their son, and a “friend” (who happens to be a good-looking yuppie), the kind Jay assumes is looking to get down his wife’s pants. Like most men feeling rejected, whether it’s real or not, Jay does the macho dance and puts himself in deeper shit with his wife.
On his own, Jay drinks and accidentally gets a promotion for the kid’s confession to the insurance claim, but when the kid’s mother makes a frantic call to Jay about the kid being hauled off by the police, Jay looks into it (risking his job) and meets a cute courthouse employee, Nicki, who tests the bonds of Jay’s marriage while also supplying him with just enough information to keep Jay sleuthing.
It all takes place in the brutal cold of a New Hampshire winter; brittle temperatures, snow storms, howling winds and the gnawing possibility of an ever anxious to cross the road at the exact wrong time deer and/or moose. Jay has demons he has yet to control, and with everything going down at the same time – the family crisis with his wife, a beating he takes from a couple of cops, the lure of a young beautiful woman looking to be more than friends, the weather, the emotional weight of a dead brother and all that implies, Porter also winds up stepping on some heavy feet, the hated, wealthy and politically established Lombardis, turning his life into a perfect storm of life or death.
This one is VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, AMICI … TERRIFIC READ, START TO FINISH.
Get December Boys here:
Game 7 thoughts …. Well, being totally honest, I never thought we’d get this far without Stralman and Stamkos … and although I was hopeful vs. the Wingless in Detroit, I wasn’t overly confident. I was much more concerned with the Wrong Islanders because of their physical style of play, but 10 games later (truly amazing how both teams were dispatched in 5 games), we were facing the winner of what many believed were the two best teams in the east. And so it’s been the Pipsqueaks from Pittsburgh for 6 rough and tough games. At times they seemed invincible … and then we came back and played hard and fast and rejected their speed and skill.
Our former New York guys, Callahan & Boyle, have been tenacious as always, and when the rest of the team is chipping in with the chippiness, we've taken command ... but there's a difference between chippy and the penalty box, and so far Paquette has managed to avoid confusing the two. We need to stay out, yet be forceful and do some banging. Fight for pucks and never relent along the boards in our end.
It'll be nice to hear this song six or seven times tonight ...
When Bishop went down in Game 1, I didn’t think we had a prayer. I thought game 1 was catching them at the right time, and especially after games 2 and 3, I figured we were done. Wrong again, oh, fat swami of Fords, New Jersey … the Bolts fought back and nearly dominated for 60 minutes, thus scaring the shit out of me yet again after going up 4-0 in two periods, and having to hang on to win 4-3 (for the beating they took in the third period).
I was hoping we’d take Game 6 and preclude tonight’s one and done Game 7, but the Pipsqueaks proved way too good to lose in 6. So tonight all one can do is hope we show up for all three periods, and that we play as if there’s no tomorrow, because the truth of the matter is: lose and there’s no tomorrow.
Meet me in New Hampshire …hey, we’re heading up to Concord New Hampshire for a reading at Gibson’s book store on Thursday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m. … … and then on June 3, at 7:00 p.m. we’ll be in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area at the Barnes & Nobel in Newington, New Hampshire.Get Tommy Red here:
Lyin’ Crooked Hillary … so, now that the State Department, the department she once headed as Secretary of State, has issued its blistering report of her terrible (take your pick here) a) incompetence, b) judgement, c) criminality and/or all of the above, we’ve learned that what she and her campaign have been spewing for the last year is yet another compilation of big fat lies.
1) She was NEVER “permitted” to use a private email source (the rules were changed specifically precluding such activity WHILE she was secretary of State);
2) She NEVER reported the attempted hacking of her emails
3) The other Secretaries of States who used their own emails NEVER had a PRIVATE SERVER, NOR a SPECIFIC REGULATION PRECLUDING SUCH USE.
4) Her excuse that it was a matter of “convenience” WAS DIRECTLY CONTRADICTED by her own email stating she was concerned her personal emails would be exposed.
5) She VIOLATED THE FEDERAL RECORDS ACT.
6) There was NO EVIDENCE that she requested or received approval to use her personal account for business.
Bottom Line, Amici: The Orange Blowhard can now add another name to the label he’s assigned her. Instead of Crooked Hillary, she’s now LYIN’ CROOKED HILLARY.