Joe Clifford was born in Berlin, CT, before discovering Jack Kerouac and Syd Barrett (literally) and setting out for San Francisco to be a rock and roll star.
It didn’t work out.
After a ten-year heroin and methamphetamine addiction, which culminated with felony arrests, overdoses, and homelessness, Clifford finally had enough and decided to turn his life around. He cleaned up in 2001 and went on to earn his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, returning to the Bay Area in 2008, where he currently lives with his wife and two sons. His autobiographical novel, Junkie Love, chronicles his battle with drugs and was published by Battered Suitcase Press (2010).
“Joe Clifford is one of the best new crime writers emerging onto the scene. While his previous novel, Junkie Love, was plenty enough proof of his talents, his latest book, Lamentation, goes far and beyond the skills of your average crime writer. Clifford takes a familiar plot and completely owns it with his masterful voice and expert knowledge of the criminal mind. This book will make you miss your hometown and be simultaneously glad you left it when you had the chance.” ~ LitReactor
Joe runs a non-profit literary series in Oakland, CA, Lip Service West, providing an outlet for many recovering addicts to tell their story. He is also Acquisitions Editor at Gutter Books. Joe is the author of several books, including Wake the Undertaker, Choice Cuts, and Lamentation, a mystery nominated for an Anthony Award in 2015, and the first book in the popular Jay Porter series, which includes December Boys and Give Up the Dead, . He is also the editor of Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Stories Based on the Songs of Bruce Springsteen. You can find Joe at JoeClifford.com, and check out his books on Amazon.
It's 1885, and the people of London suffer under clouds of acid while the Thames burns; nothing has been seen or heard from within the borders of an increasingly belligerent Germany for several years; the Mediterranean is plagued by the Corsair Queens and their fleet of pirate airships; and a dastardly foreign plot to take control of the British Empire is afoot.
Who can save the day?
Poison and Mercy d’Avalon, a pair of notorious adventuresses with a talent for the amoral and profitable sidelines in extortion, assassination, and every other vice imaginable (as well as quite a few others for good measure), are hired to eliminate a blackmail threat to a Very Important Person. It is task that seems simple enough, but it is one that is soon complicated by murder and the machinations of an implacable and remorseless enemy. Poison and Mercy must endure one scandalous episode after another as their travels take them from London to Berlin to Cairo, and finally to a hidden pit of corruption buried beneath the blazing heart of the Empire’s capital.
How long can two English roses be denied access to the best shops and restaurants before they start to sharpen their thorns and set about taking their revenge? Not very, apparently.