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House Divided: A Joe DeMarco Thriller (Joe DeMarco Thrillers) Hardcover – July 5, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Joe DeMarco Thrillers
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; First Edition edition (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802119786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802119780
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A great novel from a great author! Lawson goes for broke in this Machiavellian thriller, where Washington power brokers take on elite super spies with one rather perplexed Joe DeMarco trying to outwit—and outlast—the carnage. Equal parts funny, clever and cool, this book will make your heart race and your mind ponder.”
—Lisa Gardner, New York Times best-selling author of Live to Tell

"Lawson's House Divided is a non-stop thrill ride. The author has created a disturbingly real Washington D.C. and peopled it with eerily familiar characters. He writes with wit and verve and displays a shrewd understanding of bureaucratic irony. Thoroughly enjoyable. The political thriller of the year." —John Lutz, New York Times bestselling author of Urge to Kill and The Night Caller

“Rating: A. House Divided exemplifies fascinating storytelling with scary overtones. … This series is a must read.”—Deadly Pleasures

“Joe DeMarco, ‘fixer’ for Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, is shrewd, tough, discreet, and resourceful. … But when he innocently becomes embroiled in a high-tech joust between the supersecret National Security Agency and the Pentagon, DeMarco realizes he’s a mere babe in the woods. … Lawson creates multifaceted characters … [and] the pacing is relentless … a great thriller.” —Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (starred review)

“In Lawson’s excellent sixth Joe DeMarco thriller, DeMarco, the fix-it man for womanizing, alcoholic John Mahoney, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, discovers he can get into serious trouble all on his own without the help of Mahoney, who spends this entry offstage in the hospital. … Readers will enjoy watching the smart, funny DeMarco, who’s wise to the ways of Washington, as he extricates himself from one deadly threat after another.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A cousin’s death draws D.C. fixer Joe DeMarco away from the golf course and into a case that teaches him much about how the war on terror is fought in this entertaining thriller … the case moves at a nice clip and the manner and methods of the war within the war on terror are fascinating.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Crisply plotted.”—Entertainment Weekly

“The only problem with [Lawson’s] novels is that there are not dozens of them to read!”—Seattle Times

“I love Joe DeMarco. … These are wonderful. I think they’re inventive, nicely detailed, just a treat to read. Great airplane books.”—Nancy Pearl

About the Author

MIKE LAWSON, a former senior civilian executive for the US Navy, is the author of six novels starring Joe DeMarco. His first book, The Inside Ring, was rated by the Seattle Times as one of the top ten thrillers of 2005 and nominated for a Barry Award. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Customer Reviews

Very well written with fascinating material and characters.
Maybe that was intentional, but I didn't care for it, and it didn't seem like it would have been intentional by the author to have me dislike the main guy.
I love the entire Joe DeMarco series of thrillers by Mike Lawson.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Speaker of the House John Mahoney is in the hospital. However that does not mean his staffers enjoy a respite from their hard working, hard drinking and hard womanizing boss. For instance Mahoney's top troubleshooter John DeMarco wants to play golf while the boss is out, but instead learns someone shot and killed his hospice nurse cousin, Paul Russo near the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Paul's death is a shocker as he had no enemies as far as Demarco knew though he and his cousin were not very close. However, a second civilian is also assassinated. The national Security Agency thinks a rogue Pentagon cell is behind the murders. The NSA uses legal and other means to expedite the truth. Demarco soon finds himself targeted by the intelligence alpha soup groups from NSA to CIA to DSA to FBI and is caught in a security nightmare because he happens to be Russo's cousin who works for the Speaker.

The super sixth DeMarco political thriller (see House Justice) is a fast-paced entry as the troubleshooter is in trouble from legalized shooters as someone must take the fall. Once DeMarco concludes the espionage alpha soup crowd has placed a scarlet letter on his chest, the story line soars and never takes a respite. Readers will relish this terrific entry as Mahoney is sidelined while DeMarco is marked.

Harriet Klausner
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett VINE VOICE on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Machiavellian thriller" reads one of the reviews on the back cover, and they are right, although perhaps the word deliciously should be added.

This is Lawson's sixth thriller in his Joe DeMarco series. DeMarco is a fixer for the Speaker of the House with no action hero talents or skills, he is a slightly determined but very much an average guy. In House Divided the author takes a big change of direction which is a risky but clever strategy. DeMarco becomes almost a background figure while the action takes place around him and in many cases he is either unaware or very much pushed in certain directions. Lawson also removes his support structure, Speaker Mahoney, is in hospital, girlfriend Angela is away on CIA business and multi-talented Emma is away on a cruise with her girlfriend, so DeMarco is very much on his own....

Actually all DeMarco wants to do is play a bit of golf, and he is inconvenienced by a distant cousin being killed and him needing to sort out the estate. In most thrillers this would take the lead character into a chase to uncover the truth but DeMarco just wants to play golf and it takes him a long time to release there may be more to his cousin's death. Meanwhile the NSA and an arm of the Military are playing cat and mouse games with each-other over the death, both agencies operating out of their remit and wanting to take action without exposing their own activities.

I enjoyed every page of this, full of rich characters and clever agency inter-play and a knowledge of US Governmental politics. A vein of wit and charm runs through what is by no means an obvious thriller. We are, like DeMarco, lifted from our comfort zone of heroic leads and clear enemies and we are forced to sit back and just enjoy the show.

I thought this was a fantastic read, some fans may be disappointed with the way the author treats DeMarco but this is clever, clever stuff and highly recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While his boss, Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, recuperates in the hospital after undergoing surgery, Joe DeMarco is looking forward to some leisurely days practicing his golf swing. Unfortunately, Joe's dreams of sunny afternoons on the links evaporate when he learns that his second cousin, Paul Russo, is dead. Joe had never been close to Paul, but he still feels obligated to put his cousin's affairs in order. In addition, Joe is curious about the unusual circumstances surrounding Russo's death.

DeMarco's prying will land him in trouble when he is caught in a turf war between zealous individuals working for the National Security Agency and a rogue military man who commands his own elite unit. A great deal is at stake here. If certain facts were to be made public, the image of the United States might be irrevocably tarnished. On the other hand, suppressing these facts would allow those who break the law in the name of patriotism to go unpunished.

Mike Lawson, in "House Divided," tackles serious and timely subjects that have been on everyone's minds since the terrible events of September 11th. How much leeway should United States government officials have to monitor foreign and domestic communications? With the sophisticated satellites and electronic eavesdropping equipment available today, a person's right to privacy can no longer be taken for granted. Spies are everywhere, especially in Washington, D. C. and its environs. When Joe gets too close to the truth concerning his cousin's death, he finds himself on the run, trying to elude his determined pursuers.

"House Divided" deals with a subject that is dear to the hearts of thriller writers--conspiracies at the highest level of government.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. B. Perchorowicz on December 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This latest entry in the Mike Lawson, Joe DeMarco adventures makes the reader really think about the "Big Brother" syndrome of centuries past as we move into a more techno age. In this story line it starts out fairly innocent with a mysterious killing and a disappearance of a newspaper reporter. The person killed however is a distant cousin of Joe DeMarco and he is tapped to make the final arrangements as well as find the cousin's will so the estate can be settled.

At this point DeMarco gets entangled with a mystery about a dying confession overheard by his cousin, a hospice nurse, and possibly the reason he was killed. DeMarco follows the clues and finds that the picture widens to an even more devastating picture when he learns that the person who made the confession was a high ranking pentagon person who engaged in covert operations. Unknown to poor DeMarco is that he is being persued by the National Security Agency for the information as well as a corrupt general at the pentagon. DeMarco's usual boss, house speaker Mahoney, is out of the picture since he is hospitalized for a gallbladder problem that turns into an ugly infection which threatens his life. So most of the book is about DeMarco's attempt to evade the two agencies after him and his attempt to get the information to someone who can do something positive with the data to further protect the country.

There's a bunch of techo things that the NSA does which leaves the reader to wonder how safe are we Americans from invasion of privacy by government agencies. The writing is excellent and the storyline keeps the reader turning pages to find out what happens next or if DeMarco is killed or captured. The final ten or so pages give the answers to what happens which is what a good mystery is about.
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