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House Secrets : A Joe Demarco Thriller
Mike Lawson's previous novels starring Joe DeMarco, The Inside Ring, The Second Perimeter, and House Rules, have earned him a loyal following from thriller afficionados and a place among the most talented and captivating thriller writers focusing on our nation's capital. In his latest, House Secrets, Lawson sends Joe DeMarco, an average guy who works as a fixer for the Speaker of the House, on his most risky investigation yet.
It all begins with a simple request from the Speaker, Joe's hard-drinking, glad-handing political boss from Boston, John Fitzpatrick Mahoney. One of Mahoney's old colleagues has doubts about the supposed accidental death of his son, a middling newspaper reporter who had claimed, in the days before his death, that he had an incredibly hot story. But then again, he always said things like that, and nothing ever panned out. Mahoney just wants DeMarco to turn over some rocks around Washington and see what crawls out.
It turns out the reporter was on the trail of Senator Paul Morelli, the handsome and gifted rising star from New York, considered a shoo-in for his party's presidential nomination. Some politicians are lucky, Morelli just happened to be luckier than most, but his opponents' scandals and accidents had already been scrutinized and he looks clean. It seems like there's nothing for DeMarco to do. But then some very dangerous things start to crawl out from under the rocks he's turned over.
Dirty secrets, beltway politics, and divided loyalties threaten as DeMarco's investigation spirals dangerously out of control, pulling in freelance operatives, intelligence figures, D.C. locals, a sinister chief of staff, and characters from his past in New York. Filled with surprising twists, a captivating plot, and excellent characters both old and new, House Secrets is Lawson's best book yet.
In Lawson's excellent fourth Washington thriller to feature Joe DeMarco (after House Rules), the government investigator looks into the drowning death of a Washington Post reporter working a story involving Paul Morelli, a charismatic U.S. senator from New York. Morelli, "the man most likely to be the Democratic candidate for president in the next election," stands for all that is liberal and good, but, unfortunately, after a couple of drinks, he morphs into a sexual predator bent on molestation and rape. To cover up this behavior, Morelli turns to a mysterious benefactor who persuades the women involved to deny the incidents; anyone who doesn't go along gets killed. After DeMarco's boss, Speaker of the House John Mahoney, tells him to get the goods on Morelli, DeMarco sets up an elaborate sting. The sting succeeds, but those who helped with the operation begin to turn up dead. The action builds to a stunning final twist. (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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Atlantic Monthly Press
July 07, 2009
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