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House Secrets Paperback – 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 541 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Pr 2010-06-01; Reprint edition (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802144802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802144805
  • ASIN: B0073XVWZE
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,927,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The story line hooks the reader and will keep you turning the pages.
A. B. Perchorowicz
The characters were fleshed-out nicely, and the interesting plot line was carried along by good writing.
Jim
The first one was excellent so I downloaded all of his other DeMarco books on my Kindle.
newmama007

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 12, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the fourth book featuring Joe deMarco (who works in a very unofficial capacity for John Mahoney, the Speaker of the House in the US), but it's sufficiently standalone that it's not necessary to have read the others.

Mahoney asks Joe DeMarco to investigate the accidental death of a colleague's son. The trail quickly leads to Paul Morelli, the charismatic Senator from New York who is widely expected to receive the Democratic presidential nomination. DeMarco finds it hard to believe that the Senator could be involved in anything shady, but it does appear that he may have some powerful and ruthless friends.

This is a quick and reasonably enjoyable read. I didn't think it was the best in the series. It has a slightly odd structure, in that the initial suspense is quickly resolved and you wonder how it will sustain itself for the rest of the book. Then a new plotline emerges, but again this is resolved around two thirds of the way through and finally a third act develops. Consequently there are a few lags along the way.

I do recommend this series but it's probably not the best place to start if you haven't read any of the others - not because you won't follow it, but because the others are better.
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Format: Hardcover
(4.5 stars) When Joe DeMarco, "fixer" for Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney is called into the Speaker's office to help him "help a friend," whose reporter-son has drowned, he has no idea that his private investigation into the reporter's death will mushroom into a case which will ultimately affect his party's choice of a Presidential candidate. As he pursues what seems at first to be the simple confirmation of an accidental death, DeMarco must soon deal with present and past employees from the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, the DC police, the Capitol police, the House, the Senate, the Washington press, and even the mob. He is followed, warned, and ultimately threatened by representatives of almost all of these institutions.

DeMarco's investigation takes him into the netherworld of political secrets, most of them surrounding charismatic Senator Paul Morelli, the most likely Democratic candidate for President in a future election. Morelli has won both of his previous elections after his opponents have been publicly discredited, but Morelli has a few indiscretions and problems of his own, along with a less than loving, alcoholic wife. Like some other politicians, however, he has a "big bird" looking out for him, a secret supporter who may be willing to do just about anything to keep him "clean" until he can reach the White House. Before long, the peripheral characters in the action begin to have accidents, and as the body count begins to rise, DeMarco finds himself without the support of people he has counted on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As Joe De Marco, right hand man and ubiquitous fixer for Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, returns in another adventure, Lawson's on his game from the first chapter. Writing with the raw energy and directness that defines his novels, Lawson injects his stories with political intrigue, eccentric characters and the quirky- sometimes dangerous- world of Washington politics, where the stakes are high and the margin for error finite. In House Secrets, De Marco is sent on an obscure mission: investigate the claims of a grieving father who believes his mediocre journalist son was a victim of foul play. With little to work on but a list of names and a partial phone number, De Marco finds himself reluctant to delve into a case that may threaten the political ambitions of the next viable candidate for the President of the United States.

Paul Morelli is a stellar political figure, moving flawlessly from assistant district attorney to district attorney to NYC mayor and senator with a fine reputation of public service and moral integrity. Everyone wants this guy to succeed, especially Joe's boss, the Speaker. Calling for assistance from some familiar characters of earlier De Marco novels, Joe learns that he is being shadowed by ex-CIA operatives. His loyalties divided between political expedience and a basic belief in integrity, even in Washington, DC, De Marco is confronted with difficult choices and considerable danger. For all the charisma of public political life, the ugly underbelly of ambition breeds some particularly nasty individuals, including a ruthless chief of staff, current and former intelligence agents and a random sampling of mobsters.

De Marco feints and weaves, dodging those who would do him harm while pursuing the truth.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Joe DeMarco, fixer and go-to guy for Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, is back in Mike Lawson's "House Secrets." Mahoney, who is a hard-drinking womanizer and Washington power-broker, orders Joe to do a favor for retired congressman Dick Finley. Finley's son, Tim, was an ambitious reporter who died in what was ruled a boating accident. Tim's father doesn't buy this scenario; he insists that that his son was murdered to keep him from revealing an explosive secret. It's Joe's job to "turn over a few rocks and see what crawls out." Joe does so, and what he finds are some ugly and violent creatures, some of whom walk on two legs.

Joe's pal and critic, Emma, a beautiful and brainy former operative for the Defense Intelligence Agency, uses her considerable clout and contacts to assist Joe in his investigation. It turns out that there may be a conspiracy afoot to propel the handsome and charismatic Senator Paul Morelli to the White House. If this turns out to be the case, who is the mastermind behind Morelli's meteoric rise and what would this person do if anyone got in his way--say, a nosty reporter with dirt on Morelli or a pushy lawyer named Joe DeMarco?

Lawson is well-versed in the workings of the nation's capitol, although he makes it seem more like Peyton Place than a site where dedicated legislators work hard on behalf of their constituents. "House Secrets" contains enough intrigue, betrayals, sexual misconduct, and financial malfeasance to keep a soap opera afloat for years. DeMarco's dad worked for the mob, but Joe is a peace-loving individual. His specialty is ferreting out facts for his boss, not making threats or wielding a weapon. Even with Emma's help, however, DeMarco is having a hard time getting anyone to talk frankly about Morelli.
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