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House Odds: A Joe DeMarco Thriller (Joe DeMarco Thrillers) Hardcover – June 25, 2013
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When House Minority Leader John Patrick Mahoneys daughter, Molly, is arrested for insider trading, Joe DeMarco, Mahoney’s personal troubleshooter, is pulled from his dentist’s chair to investigate. Joe, as cynical as Mahoney is Machiavellian, knows Molly and is convinced that the quiet young engineer is an innocent victim of identity theft, but he also suspects that the real target may be Mahoney himself. In short order, DeMarco winds up in a bubbling cauldron of crime, political knavery, and ne’er-do-wells, including a Philly mobster, his Atlantic City casino manager, their thugs, a crazy Manhattan financial wheeler-dealer, and two former college football teammates. Hovering over it all is the never-ending guerrilla war that is partisan politics in a gridlocked House of Representatives, a conflict less popular with citizens than head lice. Lawson has written another fine installment in his DeMarco series, filled with vividly drawn characters, a plot with more bends than the Mississippi River, a brisk pace, and a fine sense of inside-the-Beltway verisimilitude. --Thomas Gaughan
What a pleasure to read a book by a writer who gets everything rightthe engaging protagonist, the fluid and often funny dialogue, the quick-paced and believable plot. . . . Grade: A.”—Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
Outstanding.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Odds favor a good time for the reader as Joe DeMarco faces his eighth case: a looming insider trading scandal with potentially fatal consequences. . . . Funny lines, fiendishly complicated plotting, and swiftly and sharply etched characters make this installment one of the most enjoyable in the series."—Kirkus Reviews
Every [DeMarco book] is of high quality, not only for the excellent storytelling, but for the insights into Washington life and politics. If I were to compose a list of underrated authors I would put Mike Lawson at the top.”George Easter, Deadly Pleasures
"House Odds gives you a look at the sordid underbelly of Washington politics where you will meet crooked politicians, evil gangsters and violent fixers mixed into a clever, original, fast moving and unpredictable plot. Enjoy."—Phillip Margolin, New York Times-bestselling author of Sleight of Hand
"House Odds held my attention from start to finish. It has all the essential elements of a crackling good thriller: a great character (political fixer Joe DeMarco), a spellbinding plot, and clean crisp prose. After I read my first Joe DeMarco book, I wanted to read them all. You will, too."—William Bernhardt, author of Capitol Conspiracy
"Lawson rivets in House Odds throwing Joe DeMarco—that engaging charmer you want to have your back—right into the rear corridors of Capitol Hill, the power deals, and yes, the Mob gets involved. Like Joe, we wonder, as he raises the question—who really are the bad guys?"—Cara Black, author of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
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I knocked it down a star only because it was not my favorite in this series. The plot was enjoyable, yet predictable in places and the intrigue was incorporated by Lawson explicitly stating what he was not telling the reader instead of allowing us to determine all the scheming and misdirection on our own.
All that said, for those who like political intrigue, the Joe DeMarco series is a must read, although it would be more enjoyable (like most series) to start from the beginning.
Keep the DeMarco books coming Mr. Lawson.