Polis Books

Available now in hardcover and ebook!

“The Lakehouse is a riveting page-turner where the secrets roll at you like dice. Clifford’s gritty and immersive writing style is the perfect vehicle for this tale of a town where nothing is as it seems, where truth after astonishing truth is revealed layer by layer, until it all comes together in a satisfying crescendo. Highly recommended.”
―Jess Lourey, Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things

“Captivates with pell-mell action, striking characters, and a tantalizingly complex plot.” ―Library Journal

“Everything I love in a crime novel: complex characters, secrets simmering under the surface, and a fresh, unexpected conclusion. Clifford’s raw, edgy voice makes him the heir apparent to Chandler.” ―J.T. Ellison

"Joe Clifford's The Lakehouse is a gritty and wonderfully menacing story. You'll want to rush and slow down while reading. You'll want to peek and stare down what's coming. This is one of Clifford's greatest tricks―and one of his best novels to date." ―Rachel Howzell Hall author of They All Fall Down

"Gripping." ―Publishers Weekly

After being cleared of his wife’s murder, Todd Norman returns to her small Connecticut hometown in order to finish building their dream house by the lake. He is eager to restart his life and cast aside any remaining suspicious...but all of that is dashed when a young woman’s body washes up on the beach next door.

When Tracy Somerset, divorced mother from the small town of Covenant, CT, meets a handsome stranger in a midnight Wal-Mart, she has no idea she is speaking with Todd Norman, the former Wall Street financier dubbed “The Banker Butcher” by the New York tabloids. The following morning, on the beach by Norman’s back-under-construction lakehouse, another young woman’s body is discovered. Sheriff Dwayne Sobczak’s investigation leads him to town psychiatrist Dr. Meshulum Bakshir, whose position at a troubled girls’ group home a decade ago yields disturbing ties to several local, prominent players, including a radical preacher, a disgraced politician, a down-and-out PI―and Sobczak’s own daughter.

Unfolding over the course of New England’s distinct four seasons, The Lakehouse is a domestic psychological thriller about the wayward and marginalized, the lies we tell those closest to us, and the price of forbidden love in an insular community where it seems everyone has a story to tell―and a past they prefer stay buried.