M.A. Lawson is the pen name for award-winning novelist Mike Lawson, a former senior civilian executive for the U.S. Navy, and creator of the nine novels in the Joe DeMarco series, includingHouse Odds, House Divided, and The Second Perimeter, as well as the Kay Hamilton novels Rosarito Beach, Viking Bay, and K Street.
As a fixer for influential congressman John Mahoney in Washington, D.C., Joe DeMarco has found himself in plenty of unexpected and dangerous situations. In House Rivals, the tenth book in Mike Lawson’s award-winning series, DeMarco is taken further out of his element than ever before, sent to North Dakota to protect a passionate but naïve twenty-two-year-old blogger who has put herself in harm’s way.
The young woman is Sarah Johnson, whose grandfather saved Mahoney’s life in Vietnam. For the past two years, Sarah has been on a relentless crusade against a billionaire oil tycoon who has profited handsomely from the natural gas boom in the Dakotas—and who she believes has been bribing small-time politicians and judges to keep things in his favor. Though she has no hard evidence against the man, Sarah has been assaulted and received death threats for her meddling. DeMarco, given his years of experience bending the rules in D.C., suspects that a middleman like himself is pulling strings for the tycoon. But as DeMarco tries to identify his adversaries, the situation turns unexpectedly violent, and DeMarco finds himself in a battle of wits against two ruthless problem solvers who will stop at nothing to win.
The ninth installment in Mike Lawson’s Washington, D.C. political thriller series launches readers back into Joe DeMarco’s past?to the murder of his father, which was never investigated, let alone solved.
DeMarco always knew that his father Gino had a shady job for a local mafioso, but he didn’t understand that Gino had been a hitman until he was murdered. Now, nearly twenty years later, one of Gino’s former mob associates is dying of lung cancer, and he wants to get something off his chest before retiring to his grave: the truth about Gino’s killer. The shocking information, and the powerful position the killer now occupies, sends DeMarco on a mission of revenge with terrible consequences. And after the secret being kept for so long, DeMarco has to rush to do something about it: the killer is on the brink of taking a job in Washington, D.C. that will leave him untouchable.
With his job, his morals, and his very life on the line, DeMarco must ask himself: How far will he go for revenge?
Washington, D.C. fixer Joe DeMarco has been asked to handle a lot of difficult situations over the years for his boss, congressman John Mahoney. But nothing has ever been quite so politically sensitive, or has hit so close to home, as the task Mahoney hands DeMarco in House Odds.
Mahoney’s daughter has been arrested and charged with insider trading. An engineer with a high-flying technology firm, she allegedly placed a half-million dollar bet on one of the firm’s clients. DeMarco’s job is to clear her name and keep his boss clean. But how did she get her hands on so much money to invest in the first place? Before long, DeMarco uncovers far more about the case than meets the eye, and the risk to Mahoney is more than just a little political embarrassment.
DeMarco is asked to look into the murder conviction of a lobbyist. But he has other worries on his mind: his boss is no longer Speaker,his girlfriend has left him, andhis friend Emma may be dying. DeMarco doesn’t expect to free the lobbyist ? much less to become the target of two of the most callous killers he and Emma have ever encountered.
Originally published by Doubleday in 2006, The Second Perimter was the second novel featuring Joe DeMarco, an average guy frequently tossed into deep waters. Lawson had a thirty-year career in the Navy as a senior civilian. He was a nuclear engineer responsible for their nuclear power program on the west coast. He's smart, and knows first hand how government works (and doesn't), and how power plays out in real life.
More than any book in this series, The Second Perimeter draws on Lawson's background. In The Second Perimeter, when the Secretary of the Navy’s nephew tells him that two colleagues at a U.S. Naval base are committing fraud, he is skeptical. Reluctant to launch an official investigation based on a relative’s vague suspicions, the Secretary asks Mahoney to send his guy DeMarco to check out the story.
As DeMarco and his friend Emma, a semi-retired intelligence agent, begin to investigate what they thought was a low-stakes government swindle, they come to the terrifying realization that an espionage ring has infiltrated the naval base. The leader of the espionage ring is a woman with whom Emma has a history dating back to the Cold War. Their encounter destroyed the other woman’s once promising career and turned her into a ruthless operative who cares about only one thing: destroying Emma. DeMarco has never been near a spy in his life - at least not that he ever knew of ? but now he’s mixed up in a deadly conflict with a foreign agent more lethal than anyone he’s ever encountered. Not only is Emma’s life in danger, but Mahoney’s as well.
Lawson has written one excellent novel after another over the past few years. Grove/Atlantic is publishing his new hardcover, House Divided, in the summer of 2011, and it has been getting great advance reviews, including starred reviews from Booklist and PW. With two novels under contract beyond House Divided, the series has legs, and will keep leading readers to the fantastic books where it all started.
The Inside Ring is the first novel in Mike Lawson’s critically acclaimed series of political thriller starring Joe DeMarco, fixer for the Speaker of the House. It opens with an assassination attempt on the president. He is only wounded, but his best friend and a Secret Service Agent are killed. It turns out that the attack wasn't without warning. General Andrew Banks, the Secretary of Homeland Security, received a note that the president was in danger, and even more alarming, that Secret Service agents guarding the president had been compromised.
General Banks is reluctant to tell the FBI about the note, partly for self-serving political reasons, and partly because he doesn’t want to damage the Secret Service’s reputation based on something that might very well be a hoax. So he requests help from his friend, Speaker Mahoney, and Mahoney assigns his man DeMarco to determine if the Secret Service was really involved. Moving at a breakneck pace, and packed with plenty of humor and suspense, The Inside Ring is a must-read for fans of political thrillers.
One of Deadly Pleasures’ Best Thrillers of the Year
When the NSA was caught wiretapping U.S. citizens without warrants, a scandal erupted and the program came to a screeching halt. But the man who spearheaded the operation wasn’t about to sit by while his country sleepwalked into another 9/11. Instead, he moved the program into the shadows. So when the NSA records a rogue military group murdering two American civilians, they can’t walk over to the Pentagon and demand to know what’s going on. However, as the largest intelligence service in the country, both in money and manpower, they have plenty of options? mostly illegitimate. DeMarco learns all too well just what the NSA is capable of, but he doesn’t like being used, so he fights back.
In House Secrets, DeMarco is sent by Speaker of the House John Mahoney to look into the accidental death of a mediocre newspaper reporter who, in the days before his death, claimed that he had a lead on the biggest political scandal since Watergate. It turns out that 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. Morelli’s past has already been scrutinized and he looks clean, but then why is DeMarco being followed by a pair of thugs who freelance for the CIA?
In his thrillers starring Joe DeMarco, Mike Lawson has made a name for himself as one of the most entertaining and insightful writers focusing on the dirty games played in our nation’s capital. In House Justice, an American defense contractor goes to Iran to sell missile technology, and the CIA knows all about it thanks to a spy in Tehran. But the story is leaked to an ambitious journalist and the spy is burned, brutally tortured, and executed.
The director of the CIA isn’t about to let the callous sacrifice of his valuable spy go unpunished. DeMarco’s boss, Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney has his own reasons to get to the bottom of the leak: he once had a fling with the journalist, and now that she’s in jail for refusing to reveal her source, she is threatening to tell all unless he helps get her out.
DeMarco and the CIA aren’t the only ones looking for the source of the leak. Someone else wants to avenge the spy’s death, and is tailing DeMarco hoping he’ll lead him to his prey. House Justice is classic Mike Lawson? fascinating characters, inside-the-beltway intrigue, and a gripping plot packed with surprises.
In House Rules, two foiled terrorist attacks and a law targeting Muslim Americans send Joe DeMarco on a dangerous mission among mobsters, meth dealers, and the Washington political elite.
First there was the bomb meant for the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, then a private plane headed straight for the White House is shot down. An atmosphere of fear and panic overruns the country, and when a senator proposes to run extensive background checks on all Muslims and deport any who aren’t citizens, his bill gains surprising traction. John Mahoney, the larger-than-life Speaker of the House, is not pleased. But Mahoney has a connection to one of the attackers, one he wants kept a secret. So he calls DeMarco, who attempts to get to the bottom of the attacks, and to pacify his difficult, yet charismatic boss in this riveting installment in the series.