Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pg. 69: Mike Lawson's "House Rules"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Mike Lawson's House Rules.

About the book, from the publisher:
Mike Lawson’s Joe DeMarco thrillers have drawn praise for their fine-tuned suspense, off-kilter characters, intricate plots, and revealing portrait of Washington, DC behind closed doors. In House Rules, a terrorist bombing of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel is narrowly avoided. Then a private plane headed straight for the White House ignores warnings and is shot down. An atmosphere of fear and panic overruns the country, and when the junior senator from Virginia proposes to deport all noncitizen Muslims and run extensive background checks on all Muslim Americans, his bill gains surprising traction.

Speaker of the House John Mahoney is not pleased. He knows it is the kind of knee-jerk response people will come to regret, like Japanese internment camps, and he needs to find a way to kill the bill before it exposes a secret he wants to keep. So Mahoney calls his man DeMarco. An average guy who struggles with debt, divorce, and an unreasonable boss, DeMarco is an unlikely hero, in over his head, relying on old friends as he attempts to get to the bottom of the attacks in this riveting read, full of suspense, fascinating characters, humor, and timely political intrigue.
Among the early praise for House Rules:
“Lawson’s engaging characters, with DeMarco leading the pack, come across as seriously flawed individuals trying to navigate a political world of high demands and constant distractions. Full of insider information, this novel reinforces Lawson’s place in the upper rank of Washington thriller specialists.”
Publishers Weekly

“Continuing the adventures of legislative fixer Joe DeMarco, Lawson pits his hero against an unholy alliance of meth manufacturers and politicians. He's following orders from his boss, the Speaker of the House, a shrewd, bourbon-swilling philanderer who, except for his political affiliation, could not be less like Nancy Pelosi. A pragmatic Boston Irishman with an eye for the ladies, Speaker Mahoney is a latter-day Tip O'Neill, wielding the levers of power like so many draught beer handles. He keeps DeMarco on a fat salary but hides him in the Capitol basement until he's needed to handle those special errands such as the delivery of cash envelopes and the deconstruction of conspiracies, the latter being the task at hand…. [House Rules is] a pleasantly relaxed thriller.”
Kirkus Reviews

"House Rules has it all: a lightning-paced plot, a quirky cast of players, and best of all, one of the most engaging heroes I've ever encountered. In Joe DeMarco, Mike Lawson has created a charmingly likeable character whom I'll happily follow for many books to come."
—Tess Gerritsen, author of The Bone Garden
Read an excerpt from House Rules, and learn more about the author and his work at Mike Lawson's website.

Lawson's previous Joe DeMarco thrillers include The Inside Ring and The Second Perimeter.

The Page 69 Test: House Rules.

--Marshal Zeringue