House Divided (Joe DeMarco Series #6)

House Divided (Joe DeMarco Series #6)

4.1 20
by Mike Lawson
     
 

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With his series featuring Joe DeMarco, fixer for Speaker of the House, Mike Lawson has won a reputation as one of America’s best political thriller writers. In House Divided, with his boss out of commission, DeMarco is on his own, a sacrificial pawn in a lethal game between a master spy and a four-star army general.

When the NSA was caught

Overview


With his series featuring Joe DeMarco, fixer for Speaker of the House, Mike Lawson has won a reputation as one of America’s best political thriller writers. In House Divided, with his boss out of commission, DeMarco is on his own, a sacrificial pawn in a lethal game between a master spy and a four-star army general.

When the NSA was caught wiretapping U.S. citizens without warrants, a scandal erupted and the program came to a screeching halt. But the man who spearheaded the most sophisticated eavesdropping operation in history wasn’t about to sit by while his country sleepwalked into another 9/11. Instead, he moved the program into the shadows. So when the NSA records a rogue military group murdering two American civilians, they can’t exactly walk over to the Pentagon and demand to know what’s going on. That doesn’t mean their hands are tied, however. As the largest intelligence service in the country, both in money and manpower, they have plenty of options— mostly illegitimate.

DeMarco learns all too well just what the NSA is capable of, but he doesn’t like being used, so he fights back. House Divided is inspired and compelling, a strong addition to this celebrated series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Lawson's excellent sixth Joe DeMarco thriller (after House Justice), 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. When DeMarco's pious hospice nurse cousin, Paul Russo, is shot to death near the Iwo Jima Memorial, the position of the body—half on federal park property, half on an Arlington County sidewalk—presents a jurisdictional problem that's soon settled in favor of the feds. DeMarco, who barely knew his cousin and would rather be playing golf, finds himself unwittingly drawn into the mystery of Paul's murder and eventually a target of the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA. 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. (July)
From the Publisher

“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

Library Journal
When the National Security Agency intercepts radio traffic recording the assassination of two Americans, the stage is set for a showdown with the Department of Defense. However, one of the victims was the distant cousin of Joe DeMarco, a fixer for the Speaker of the House, and Joe learns that the man had a secret that may have led to his murder. This is a serviceable entry (after the excellent House Justice) in an overall superior series, but some of the edge and humor are missing this time around.
Kirkus Reviews

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 from Lawson (House Justice, 2010, etc.).

With his boss in the hospital for gall bladder surgery and his girlfriend in Afghanistan on a secret mission for the CIA, DeMarco looks forward to time on the links. So he's annoyed when he has to settle his second cousin's will. Perhaps because he just wants to hit some balls, DeMarco ignores suspicious details surrounding his cousin's death. First, the cousin, Paul Russo, was shot in the head early in the morning at the Iwo Jima Memorial. Then, Russo's landlady tells DeMarco, the FBI searched Russo's apartment after his death. And a woman at the hospice where Paul was a nurse says the FBI confiscated his office computer. The FBI, meanwhile, who have jurisdiction over the case since the shooting occurred on federal property, waste no time cremating Russo's remains and suggest he was the victim of a drug deal gone bad. What DeMarco doesn't know is that his cousin's death connected to the war on terror and that the NSA, the FBI and the Pentagon want the matter covered up. Gen. Charles Bradford, for one, dispatches a man to take out the witnesses to Russo's murder. And at the National Security Agency, Claire Whiting suspects the FBI is holding back on something with the Russo case. DeMarco, meanwhile, having learned his cousin was gay, talks to an ex-boyfriend, who's in a hurry to leave town. The boyfriend finally admits Paul had acquired information that put his life in danger. Now unable to deny something's afoot, DeMarco heads into a case that finds government agencies fighting and shadowing each other.

Some stodgy exposition aside, the case moves at a nice clip and the manner and methods of the war within the war on terror are fascinating.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802119780
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/05/2011
Series:
Joe DeMarco Series, #6
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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House Divided 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Love Joe DeMarco he always seems to come through the craziest situations without a gun or fighting.
GailBHappy More than 1 year ago
Great easy reading. Good character development. Believable current event plot-lines.
Lynie More than 1 year ago
Although the National Security Agency was caught wiretapping U.S. citizens without warrants and the government called a halt to this practice, it doesn't mean it's not still happening. If anything, it's now handled more clandestinely. NSA, still operating illegally, records what seems to be a rogue military group murdering two Americans. Since they're not supposed to be working without warrants, they can't do anything with the information they've uncovered without finding another way to disclose what happened. Enter Joe DiMarco, a fixer for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. When Paul Russo is the victim of what appears to be a random murder, the FBI quickly takes the case away from the police. Joe DiMarco is pulled into Russo's murder because he's a distant cousin. The more DiMarco delves into Russo's life and tries to settle Russo's affairs, the more convinced he is that everything is wrong with the picture the FBI is painting of Russo. When he learns that Russo stumbled upon some very damaging information about high level military personnel and with the Speaker out of commission, DiMarco follows the trail all the way to the top as the bodies pile up. As DiMarco tracks the people involved, members of the NSA are tracking him, leading to an explosive ending. HOUSE DIVIDED is a good political thriller. Lynn Kimmerle
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PALETA More than 1 year ago
In the last of the DeMarco series by Mike Lawson it starts great from page one and ends with solution to the problem at hand. Missed Emma and Mahoney but She was out of the countery and Mahoney was in hospital. They deserved a break but DeMarco fought it alone and won again. Wish there was a #7.
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KenCady More than 1 year ago
There have been several Joe DeMarco novels,but this is the first one that ranks among the best of the genre. Lawson takes us into the NSA and shows us how they can easily violate their mandate not to snoop on domestic phone calls. He then begins a tale of murder and treachery that far exceeds anything he has yet written, and shows some real political gumption in discussing the NSA. The characters are all believable; he doesn't resort to implausible tricks, he just writes one damn good story. It will have you looking over your shoulder the next time you pick up a phone!
michah More than 1 year ago
I LOVE the DeMarco books so far. I was so excited when this came out, however it was not good.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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