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House Secrets (Joe DeMarco Thrillers
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Lawson (The Inside Ring) returns with another fast-paced, Washington, DC, thriller featuring Joe DeMarco, troubleshooter for House Speaker John Mahoney. This time, Joe is on a mission to investigate the mysterious death of a Washington Post reporter. Both the death and police response seem fishy, and his inquiries lead him to a variety of ex-spies, corrupt politicians, and other shady characters. Aided by Emma, a retired DIA agent, he discovers links between his case and Sen. Paul Morelli, a brilliant and beloved politician whose career seems to be enabled by a shadowy evil genius. Verdict With corpses and plot turns aplenty, this book maintains high suspense with an unliterary but effectively visual prose style. Readers who like fast-paced crime television dramas will feel right at home. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/09.]-Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ., Stanislaus Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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.

"Outstanding." --Library Journal, Five Best Thrillers of the Year

"[I] consider Mike Lawson my favorite political thriller writer (Flynn, Baldacci and Metzger will have to go to the back of the line)." --George Easter, Deadly Pleasures

"House Secrets is his best yet." --Jeff Ayers, The Big Thrill

"Congressional fixer Joe DeMarco returns in the fourth of Mike Lawson's brainy, character-driven and droll novels of D.C. politics." --Adam Woog, Seattle Times

"Writing a top-tier Washington thriller ain't easy. Just think of the competition. ... I'm happy to reporter that Mike Lawson is up to the challenge. House Secrets is plotted artfully, written with panache and has a surprise ending--don't cheat and peak--that made me roar with laughter. ... Lawson has a true insider's insight about real-world spinelessness, venality, and corruption that have taken the place of moral courage and true leadership on Capitol Hill...a fine ear for dialogue...[and] a good eye for irony. ... What makes House Secrets so delicious is that even though we know Senator Morelli is a bad apple almost from the get-go, Lawson inserts enough twists and turns into this book to keep readers guessing how it all resolves right up until the incredibly funny last page. Trust me. Don't cheat and peek." --John Weisman, Washington Times

"Lawson's got the goods for bestsellerdom." --Sarah Weinman, The Baltimore Sun

"The twists, turns, and surprises never flag, leading to a blockbuster conclusion that is letter perfect, one that few will forget anytime soon. ... [House Secrets is] a wry and entertaining novel about Washington politics." --Mary Whipple, MostlyFiction.com

"A startling tale, with twists and turns galore. ... Lawson has created an engrossing, full of sinister characters from both sides of the law. ... House Secrets is the fourth in the Joe DeMarco series, which is rapidly becoming a favorite for me." --Maddy Van Hertbruggen, ReviewingTheEvidence.com

"A fantastic tale filled with twists and spins that seem plausible ... A consistently great series." --Harriet Klausner, The Midwest Book Review

"Despite his many flaws, DeMarco is a sympathetic character with a self-deprecating sense of humor. This leads to some snappy dialogue ... Lawson give his readers a clever plot ... and maintains suspense." --Dick Saxe, Mystery News

"The kind of whodunit thriller you can't stop thinking about while you're reading and can't stop talking about once you're done. Smart, original, crafted with true insider knowledge, brimming with vivid characters, and a forward drive that just won't quit. . . . I couldn't put it down." --Vince Flynn on The Inside Ring

"[Lawson is] on his game from the first chapter. As a fixer, De Marco has seen his share of corruption and the secrets of the movers and shakers, done his business in the shabby corridors of power. Given questionable evidence, De Marco is inclined to err on the side of caution, but Lawson never lets his protagonist off that easy, forcing him to make tough choices and face down personal demons. As Joe works his inside sources, the reader gets a bird's-eye view of the Washington machinations he thrives on: leverage, an exchange of favors, the shifting layers of loyalty and opportunity. This thriller is no exception, another solid chronicle of the vagaries of Washington politics and the promises of elected leaders with feet of clay." --Luan Gaines, Curled Up With a Good Book

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