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Publisher's Summary

Jay Porter, the newest employee at NorthEastern Insurance in New Hampshire, is investigating an 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. He learns that longtime 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.

©2016 Joe Clifford (P)2016 Cherry Hill Publishing, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Fine writing, plus an interesting mix of people and a truly offbeat, if arguably rude, hero." (Booklist)
"Clifford has written a very human tale of redemption." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Lynn
  • Texas
  • 07-09-16

A Different Sort of Hero

If you could sum up December Boys in three words, what would they be?

Sorrow - addiction - flawed<br/><br/>You could just feel for Jay Porter and his life. You find out about his brother and the past that just won't go away. You watch his self medicate himself or get help via the doctor, but you understand why he does it as the story continues.

What other book might you compare December Boys to and why?

I didn't know there was a first book, which I now want to listen to. Plus there should be a third one, which will be a must to hear.

What about Timothy McKean’s performance did you like?

I loved his narration of this story. He kept my interest throughout the whole story. To me, he did an excellent job in telling us this story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were times where I laughed at Jay's times with his friends or wanted to cry when he was dealing with his wife and all that mess. This shows a well written book that can allow the reader/listener feel empathy for the main character and his troubles.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fast Moving

I thought the story was interesting with strong characters and a good plot. The main character was hard to like and I found myself calling him an idiot and wanting to give him a head thunk.
I did have empathy for him. it was hard to put down. The narrator was good, so it was easy to listen to. I would have enjoyed the book more without the bad language.
I wouldn't read another Joe Clifford book because of the language , even though I would like to hear what happens to Jay Porter next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nemeses Abound

This is a good story. Jay is on top of his game, or at least climbing the last few ladder rungs, and then it all kind of crumbles-- job, marriage, safe distance from old nemeses. The story has nice twists and surprises.

I like flawed characters-- it adds realism-- and I felt myself rooting for Jay at the beginning, and then loosing interest in him towards the second quarter because he seemed to be making obvious mistakes for the sake of story, which in this case was unnecessary because the story stands well on its own. The turning-point errors came off a bit contrived and flattened an otherwise crisp narrative.

The narrator's (Timothy McKean) voice was clear and he enunciated well. He read most characters, male and female, with the same tone, the same pace, and the same accent. This caused a few episodes of confusion for me. My personal preference is for more variety if it can be pulled off without too much drama, however the real distraction here was that McKean lilting pauses, which would have been great to distinguish one character from the rest, but was a wee grating to endure an entire listen. I think McKean's style might work well for another kind of story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A gritty thrill ride

This is a fast paced thriller mystery that really pulled me in from the get go with the excellent narration. Things get pretty twisty & intense & I felt as if I was there, quite on the edge of my seat. I attribute this to the perfect merriment of a gripping plot with a skilled narrator.

The main character Jay finally seems to have it all, after what seems like a tough emotional battle in book 1... Perfect wife, a great job, and happy life. That's until he takes on a case with a young teenager, Brian, & dives into the dark realities of his world. Jay starts to spiral as he dives into things head first, and he doesn't know how to separate himself from the cause. This book has everything you could ask for from a mystery/thriller hybrid. This is not a quiet cozy listen, but more of a fast paced thrill ride. I was provided this book as a gift in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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December Boys: A Jay Porter Novel

“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

I wanted to listen to this book. The male protagonist finds himself in strange situations. As the story line moves at a fast pace the listener finds themselves drawn deeper into the darker side of this mystery / thriller. It will hold you to the last page. I've seen this is a followup to "LAMENTATION." I must now get the first book.



The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed and you feel you are with them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Slow start, great finish!

If you could sum up December Boys in three words, what would they be?

intriguing, suspenseful, realistic characters.

Any additional comments?

To be honest, I listened to the first three chapters and stopped listening for a time. I went to write a review to the effect that its not worth finishing, but since I got this book free and agreed to write a review, I felt obligated to finish it. Im glad that I did because I really stopped at the turning point in the story. It picked up and got better and better. It was a little vulgar for my tastes, but I find myself consider Joe's other work. I would suggest that you read this book.<br/><br/>"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."

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A good read...not a thriller

I read both books in this series...I enjoyed both books, but very predictable ...went a little slow. The narrator kept your interest.

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December Boys

Any additional comments?

Interesting, engaging, entertaining and enjoyable.<br/><br/>Police corruption, crooked judges, mystery, suspense, payoffs and detention centers all combined into a really good story.<br/><br/>I did not realize this was the second in a series when I started it, that fact did not take away from this book, you are given enough of the backstory you know what is going on.<br/><br/>Jay Porter an average (sometimes unlikable) guy who's life is falling apart. Dealing with demons from his past as well as his current problems which are getting bigger and more dangerous by the day.<br/><br/>Narrator Timothy McKean did a good job. He has a nice voice. Easy on the ears. Nice smooth even pace. He needs more of a difference in his male voices. It was hard sometimes to know which character was speaking.<br/><br/>This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom<br/>

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Really enjoyed it

Would you consider the audio edition of December Boys to be better than the print version?

I did not read the print version

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nickki because at first you dont know if shes setting him up or on his side.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where a past nemesis comes to the main characters rescue.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Slave labor for a ticket?

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

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  • Connie
  • DURHAM, NC, United States
  • 06-22-16

I didn't realize this was #2 in a series

I was fortunate enough to be gifted this book by the reader, Tim McKean. Now, I think it might have been better for me to read the first book in this series first, Lamentation. But I didn't know it was a series.

Throughout the book, I waited for the hero, Jay Porter, to sort himself out and do right. Well, he did do right by some people, but he ended up not so hot in the personal category. That sounds vague - sorry, didn't want to send out spoilers.

One thing I might mention: The main plot line was the basically the same as one I saw on an old Law and Order, but without the hero almost getting himself and his friends killed, trying to make the situation right. Very exciting stuff, though. The Law and Order episode was downright boring by comparison.

The ending was perfection as long as you realize there will be a book #3 to tie everything up. I'll be back.