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Give Up the Dead

(Jay Porter #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Three years have passed since estate-clearing handyman Jay Porter almost lost his life following a devastating accident on the thin ice of Echo Lake. His investigative work uncovering a kids-for-cash scandal may have made his hometown of Ashton, New Hampshire, a safer place, but nothing comes without a price. The traumatic, uncredited events cost Jay his wife and his son, ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Oceanview Publishing
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  172 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Purple Country Girl (Sandy)
I received a copy of Give Up the Dead from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Give Up the Dead is the third book in the Jay Porter series by Joe Clifford. I am new to this series so I worried I could run into some confusion but Clifford provides enough detail to fill in any blanks. I appreciate authors who take the time to provide some backstory, instead of assuming the reader has read all the books in a series. The writing is solid and characters are well-drawn. I really thought I would
Benoit Lelièvre
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ol' Joe Clifford just bamboozled me again.

I began GIVE UP THE DEAD wondering how on Earth the third novel in a series would manage to surprise me, but it did. It brilliantly did. Clifford's lonely and miserable protagonist returns to investigate a missing teenager in a child custody case he shouldn't be involved with. The case confronts him to his inherent guilt regarding the death of his parents and subsequent death of his brother Chris in the most heartbreaking way possible.

There are two char
John W.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
GIVE UP THE DEAD, is a fast moving dark mystery thriller full of twists and turns from the very beginning. Joe Clifford introduces protagonists Jay Porter. Clifford’s main character, Jay Porter, is an abrasive loner who is dealing issues from his past. The author share details of Jay’s backstory including details of his recovery from a serious injury, his messy divorce, and the death of his parents and brother. Clifford builds on Jay’s character allowing him to grow and become a more likable per ...more
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully crafted first person prose in a compelling mystery with a stunning ending.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to be able to read an advance copy, so ... you'll just have to trust me on this one. Jay Porter's life keeps getting worse, but Clifford's writing keeps getting better. Go ahead and pre-order. You can thank me later.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of " Give Up the Dead" free from Goodreads to read and review.
I picked up the book from the stack on my shelf because I wanted a book to read while sitting outside in the sun. Reading an e-book on my iPad doesn't work so well in bright sunshine. So I sat down and began this book by an author new to me. Thirteen pages in the book, I found myself flipping back to the flyleaf saying, " Man, what else has this guy written?" Some hours later , I finished the book.
Yes, it is that g
Margaret Duke-Wyer
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Give Up the Dead by Joe Clifford

The first thing I should point out that this is the third book in the Jay Porter series, but the first one I have read. This quickly became obvious as the narrative outlined Jay’s troubled past, referring to a serious injury he had sustained and the loss of his family and thereby explaining his current position. So we are presented with our hero, a hard-working, honest, ethical man, plagued by doubts and pretty much a loner – the good guy, illustrated by his clear
Lisa Daily
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Joe Clifford is one hell of a writer. I read an advance copy in hardcover and loved it so much I bought it for Kindle too. What I love most about this series (and anybody looking at my GR reading list knows I gravitate to the happy, funny, romantic stuff) is the insanely good writing. Give Up The Dead is not what I usually gravitate to --it's darker, bleaker -- but there's something about Clifford's protagonist Jay Porter that keeps me coming back. Sure, Porter's a screw-up and responsible for m ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
An underdog protagonist who needs a win in his life, badly, is up against dangerous, powerful people to clear himself of murder and find a missing teen, but, its not like he hasn't been in a tough spot before. This latest in the Jay Porter series was reminiscent of old-style hard-boiled detective fiction from decades past and I was pulled in from the start.

Give Up the Dead is the third book in the Jay Porter series and takes place about three years after the close of the second book. These books
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley to read and review.

GIVE UP THE DEAD by Joe Clifford is the 3rd book in the "Jay Porter Series", and the first book that I've read by this author.

Jay Porter lives in a one room apartment as a divorced father who makes a living working for his friend Tom, somewhat of a father-figure that has a business buying and selling furniture collections to be sold as antiques.

Tom plans on eventually selling the business to Jay when he retir
Mike Hughes
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Third book in the Jay Porter series and it was another good one. Jay seems to always find some kind of trouble and works his way through it. As always good story, great characters and setting. Easy four star book.

Thanks to NetGally for the chance to read it early and will be adding it to my shelves along with Clifford's first two Jay Porter books.

Rory Costello
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked the first two Jay Porter novels a good deal, but I thought this one was the best to date. I was really engrossed and pressing ahead late in the night to read more, which hasn't happened in a while. I thought the mystery story line was stronger (not that the others were weak), and the ongoing development of Jay as a character is truly interesting. Clifford continues to make good use of addiction as a theme without getting the least bit preachy. He also leaves the door open skillfully for ...more
Give Up The Dead 💀 is a hard nasty taste of country blues. Jay Porter, the lead character, is perhaps no one's idea of a pulp hero. He is manifestly despondent over his failed marriage, his wife's new marriage, his lack of career prospects, his bachelor life in a sad little apartment, his drug addicted brother's death, his parents' demise, and more. His sad lot is defined by the location - a cold snowy winter in rural New Hampshire in the shadow of Lamentation Mountain. And yet it's an incredibl ...more
Inês Mendes
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Give Up the Dead, by Joe Clifford - Copy given by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The first thing I have to say is that this is the third book in the Jay Porter series, but the first one I have read.

For me this book just kept pulling me more and more to read it, which I always love.

Besides, this type of book is one of my favourites, so it was very easy to read it.

And the fact the I hadn't previously read the other two didn't make it harder for me to read this one, which I really l
April Showers Bring Fungi From Yuggoth
Review: GIVE UP THE DEAD by Joe Clifford

May this series never end! I've read these three novels in immediate sequence, so I'm quite aware of character evolution in this series, particularly that of admirable protagonist Jay Porter, but also of several other ongoing secondaries. Each novel in the series brings Jay face to face with death and near-death, in trouble with the law and out-of-town bad guys, steadfast but stumbling. But I think it is in GIVE UP THE DEAD that Jay really sees into the mi
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
" the world of investigation, there’s no such thing as coincidence."

This is the third book in the Jay Porter series, after LAMENTATION and DECEMBER BOYS. It starts three years after DECEMBER BOYS ended (and if you haven't read the first two books you really should to get the most out of this story).

Jay Porter is now divorced and his ex-wife is remarried to the guy she kept claiming was just a "friend" in the last book. His son, Aiden, is now six years old and Jay hates being a weekend fath
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars-good
Give Up the Dead by Joe Clifford is the third book in the Jay Porter Series, although the first one I have read.

Jay is pulled unwillingly from the sidelines into investigating the case of a missing teenaged boy. A stranger appears asking Jay to find the boy for his employer for a large sum of money; Jay turns it down, and the next day, his own boss is found beaten near to death with all clues pointing to Jay. In order to clear his name, he finds he must find the lost boy. The more he investigate
Chuck Barksdale
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Oceanview Publishing and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

Give Up the Dead, Joe Clifford’s third book in this terrific and excellent written series takes place 3 years from the last book, December Boys. Although in this book, Jay Porter still deals with family issues, they are not as prevalent as the first two books in the series and this book is closer to a traditional crime novel.

Porter is back working for Tom Gable buying and selling
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
We catch up with Jay Porter 3 years after the events of "December Boys" and once again, Jay finds himself on the wrong end of, well, everything. First he is offered a boatload of cash (from a stranger) to find and retrieve a rich mans son from (maybe) a cult of some sort, and then his boss at the estate clearing company is beaten into a coma and yup, Jay is the prime suspect. As before, you find yourself cheering for Jay even as you cringe over some of his choices.

A well constructed plot delive
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, kindle, netgalley
I received this arc from Netgalley.

This was kind of difficult to rate. It got off to a great start but a little over half way it sort of goes off the rails for me. The parts about the brother becomes so repetitious that it's annoying. The closer that I got to the end, the harder it was to pick up this book to continue reading. Not my cup of tea. Two and a half stars.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks netgalley for another interesting read. Jays life is sort of depressing, boring A last minute auction on Thanksgiving day will change everything for him. He is contacted requesting his help in finding a boy. After the offer is turned down His boss is almost killed, his work place is broken into, inventory stolen he is beaten.
What's the connection. What will he do?
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great books

The ending is hard. But its real life along w Jays cussing. Which I'd why I keep reading thus series. These books are not quaint of precious or happily ever after. They broken people doing their best. People most of us know & love can't wait to read another. Joe rocks!!
Mike Bracken
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reluctant detective Jay Porter is back and as misanthropic as ever in Joe Clifford’s latest novel, Give Up the Dead. That’s good news for anyone who likes their mysteries darker than a cup of three-year-old motor oil, because like Clifford’s earlier efforts (Lamentation and December Boys), this book is bleak – in the best way possible. This ain’t your grandma’s favorite cozy mystery, that’s for sure.

It’s been three years since Porter’s last case left his life in shambles, and he appears content
Darcia Helle
This is one of those gritty, atmospheric books, where the setting is a vital part of the story. In fact, the setting was probably my favorite aspect. The story takes place in a small mountain community in New Hampshire, right at the start of winter. The author perfectly captures the New England feel with both the area and the characters.

I immediately connected with Jay Porter, a man who has been kicked around one too many times and is struggling to get back on his feet. I felt the edge of depres
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Taut and nervy.

A worthy addition to the Jay Porter series.

Read it!
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this novel in the series, but oh! The ending! Can't give it away. The plot line was complicated and a couple of times I had to go back and check parts of the sequence of events. Who knew that New Hampshire was so dastardly? What I recall about New Hampshire is Polly's Pancake Parlor! As usual, the dialogue is snappy and realistic, and I can almost smell the funky apartments.

That said, the only thing I would ask for next time is a case that takes place in the summer or autumn. A
Jay Williams
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story revolves around several damaged characters, especially Jay Porter, who continues to berate himself for not doing more to save his brother. As his story continues, he is suspected of various crimes as someone seems to be setting him up. He reaches into his past to find the help he needs to figure out what is going on and resolve his problems. Needless to say, the story is exciting and full of action and suspense. The resolution is long in coming, and worth the wait. There is a hint of r ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. Not a normal read for me, but the rating and odds were good so I entered the contest. It was GOOD. Great writing. Kept me engaged. Plan to read more "Jay Porter Novels".
David Richey
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life's Mysteries

Jay finds a death certificate in the pocket of a gift coat and the search for answers begins. Jay's boss and friend is found very badly injured.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For a book to be a must read, it needs to have a few things going for it. A good plot, believable dialogue and perhaps most importantly, have characters a reader can relate to in some capacity. To me that doesn’t mean a character you 100% agree with or sympathize with, instead I mean a character that in some manner you ‘get”. Maybe a character who regrets the choices they made that pushed a former lover away or a character who aches for more time with their child. Sometimes it is a character who ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Jay Porter (5 books)
  • Lamentation (Jay Porter, #1)
  • December Boys (Jay Porter Thrillers, #2)
  • Broken Ground (Jay Porter, #4)
  • Rag and Bone (Jay Porter #5)
“Dinner was nice. Not the meal so much. The only restaurant we could find open on Thanksgiving was Denny’s, and you never walk out of Denny’s saying, That was a good decision.” 1 likes
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