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House Justice (Joe De Marco) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
Book 5 of 10 in the Joe Demarco Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After the head of the CIA, Jake LaFountaine, gives a secret briefing to a group of congressional leaders in Lawson's engaging fifth thriller featuring fix-it man Joe DeMarco (after House Secrets), someone leaks the information to the press. This slip results in the brutal killing of CIA agent Mahata Javadi (one of the bravest persons I ever met, LaFountaine tells a room full of reporters), who was working undercover in Iran. John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Washington's premier political puppet master, tasks DeMarco with finding the leaker. Despite three wild cards confounding the search—a Russian mobster, the wealthy head of a technology company, and a mysterious killer bent on revenge—DeMarco manages to remain alive and get himself a fabulous new girlfriend. The always present push and pull between the political machinations of alcoholic, egotistical Mahoney and De Marco's basic decency raises the ethical stakes. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* An American spy in Iran is exposed by a female journalist, and the spy is tortured, then executed. Enraged, the director of Central Intelligence blames the leak on Congress. Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney isn’t sure who leaked the information, but he’s certain the journalist, jailed for refusing to name her source, will spill the beans about their one-night stand 20 years earlier. Mahoney summons Joe DeMarco, his personal gumshoe and fixer, to identify the leaker and keep the journalist from embarrassing him. Lawson’s tight, high-energy prose drives a plot with more turns than the Burma Road, as DeMarco finds himself surrounded by sleazy legislators, CIA spooks, Russian gangsters, FBI agents, assorted hit men, a misanthropic billionaire, a SoCal surfer/computer-gamer/millionaire, and a mysterious Iranian florist hell-bent on avenging the murdered spy. Some two dozen characters, major and minor, are introduced, and Lawson makes all of them memorable; whatever their background—Congress, espionage, Russian organized crime, or American business—they all behave exactly as their culture dictates they must. The dialogue is sharp, cynical, and often funny, but the book succeeds because of its characters. Readers may reasonably wonder if these twisted individuals and the bent cultures that animate them might be shaping our lives. A superb example of the post–cold war espionage novel. --Thomas Gaughan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Joe De Marco (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802145353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802145352
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By lois walker on July 13, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the fourth book I've read by Mike Lawson. I'm pretty fussy when it comes to books, but have found each
and every one of Lawson's book extremely entertaining with just the right amount of Washington insight, humor,
and just good old fashioned suspense and action. Can't believe that I've never heard of him berfore. With so
little info about the author, I suspect that the books are the work of someone with a name I'd recognize Whatever,
I've found all of his books a great read and he's now right up there with my favorite legal thrillers. The plots
move right along. The characters are interesting. I'm glad I found this author whoever he is.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lawson returns with Joe DeMarco - the ersatz 'fixer' to Speaker of the House John Mahoney. DeMarco is a regular guy - accustomed to dealing with unfaithful spouses, misbehaving children and legislators who don't vote the way Mahoney wants them to vote. But once in a while things get dicey..

An American spying in Iran is killed, brutally. The killing is the result of leaked intelligence to a reporter. When the reporter is imprisoned because she won't reveal her source she attempts to extort Mahoney for a prior affair. Mahoney asks DeMarco to find a way to get her out of jail without exposing the Speaker and if he can find out who did leaked the info, all the better.

House Divided is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Everyone is lying, everyone thinks they are lying for the greater good. The bodies start piling up and DeMarco knows some people don't care who gets killed. Eventually he is paired with a CIA agent that he is attracted to ... but her boss and the agency's tactics are hard to swallow.

Page turner that will keep you up late. Highly recommend
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the things I like best about Lawson's legal thrillers is that no matter which side of the political fence you're on, your side is going to get some flack within the pages. Democrats get skewered, Republicans get skewered, and probably Tea Party folk will get skewered in the next book as well. The equal opportunity criticism of all politicians helps any reader get absorbed in the terrific plot line, zesty dialogue, and twisting plot without worrying about if the writer has some kind of agenda against any political party.

House Justice was an easy-reading page-turner with a great plot with lots of underhanded CIA shenanigans, a dollop of sexual activity, and some great scenes of violence, one of which was so funny I laughed out loud while the main character practically wet his pants!

I highly recommend all the books by Mike Lawson to this point, and newcomers can read this novel without feeling like they have to read the previous five thrillers.
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The book had places where the action was great. Overall, I was slightly disappointed. There was the use of a new CIA agent inside of the one used in prior novels. This new CIA agent is DeMarco's new love interest. The theme of the Russian mob with a touch of Mid-East weapons possession was the better part of the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This volume in the Joe DeMarco series continues to build the characters and develop a story line for them. I've enjoyed the series, and this one was as good as the rest have been. I highly recommend them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Similar to othere Joe DeMarco novels. Interesting but kind of drags in the middle. One can almost anticipate what is going to happen. Not one of Lawson's best but not a novel that you can just quit on either.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joe DeMarco is one of those people you really would like to get to know. Mike Lawson makes him so believable and so likable at the same time. He tells Washington like it is, warts and all. I just hope there actually are people in our capital who are as uncompromising as Joe DeMarco. Otherwise, we are in a world of hurt.
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Format: Hardcover
In Mike Lawson's "House Justice," Joe DeMarco gets involved in weightier matters than usual. Until now, Joe, a non-practicing attorney, has made his living as a bagman, fixer, and messenger for Speaker of the House John Mahoney, a hard-drinking womanizer and wheeler-dealer. Now, DeMarco finds himself in the middle of an ugly mess involving a CIA agent, Russian thugs, a playboy millionaire, a vengeful tycoon, an angry Iranian, a jailed newspaper reporter, and a corrupt congressman. Speaker of the House Mahoney, who is being blackmailed, wants Joe to head off any damage that might tarnish his reputation. However, events quickly spiral out of control, and Joe winds up dodging bullets and teaming up with a tough and beautiful American intelligence agent.

The most sympathetic person in "House Justice" is Mahata Javadi, a spy for the CIA who has sacrificed her youth to gather intelligence in Iran for six years. When she receives a message that she should run for her life, she fears that it may be too late. Lawson makes us sympathize with Mahata; we hope that this courageous young woman will find a way to elude her pursuers.

The rest of the large cast in "House Justice" consists, for the most part, of obnoxious, selfish, ruthless, and violent individuals. This is one of the weakest books in the series. The novel is almost entirely plot-driven; the characters are colorful but thinly drawn; so many people are executed that the bloodshed quickly loses its impact; Joe, who is likeable enough, is ineffectual and beleaguered. For a thriller to work, it is not enough to place men and women in peril. The author must create characters and situations that grip us and generate suspense. Somehow, Lawson never quite pulls this off.
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