House Rules (Joe DeMarco Series #3)

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Overview

In House Rules, two foiled terrorist attacks and a law targeting Muslim Americans send Joe DeMarco on a dangerous mission among mobsters, meth dealers, and the Washington political elite.
First there was the bomb meant for the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, then a private plane headed straight for the White House is shot down. An atmosphere of fear and panic overruns the country, and when a senator proposes to run extensive background checks on all Muslims and deport any who aren’t ...

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House Rules (Joe DeMarco Series #3)

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Overview

In House Rules, two foiled terrorist attacks and a law targeting Muslim Americans send Joe DeMarco on a dangerous mission among mobsters, meth dealers, and the Washington political elite.
First there was the bomb meant for the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, then a private plane headed straight for the White House is shot down. An atmosphere of fear and panic overruns the country, and when a senator proposes to run extensive background checks on all Muslims and deport any who aren’t citizens, his bill gains surprising traction. John Mahoney, the larger-than-life Speaker of the House, is not pleased. But Mahoney has a connection to one of the attackers, one he wants kept a secret. So he calls DeMarco, who attempts to get to the bottom of the attacks, and to pacify his difficult, yet charismatic boss in this riveting installment in the series.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

At the start of Lawson's snappy third thriller starring congressional snoop Joe DeMarco (after The Second Perimeter), a series of three failed attempts by Muslim terrorists to attack Washington, D.C.—one by plane, one by car, one by lone suicide bomber—causes nationwide panic. DeMarco wades into the mess when his boss, House Speaker John Mahoney, asks him to check out the possibility that the terrorist onslaught may have been more homegrown than it appears. Quickly appearing on DeMarco's radar is a suspicious, high-profile piece of anti-Islamic legislation, pushed by the blowhard junior senator from Virginia, that's on the fast track for approval. While the efficient plot takes some predictable turns, 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. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

An ambitious senator introduces anti-Muslim legislation following several foiled terror attacks, and Speaker of the House John Mahoney sends his bagman Joe DeMarco to find a reason. DeMarco is no hero-he drinks too much and hides when the shooting starts-but his tenacity (and fear of his boss) keeps him in the game. Lawson (The Second Perimeter) fleshes out his characters while developing a plausible and increasingly tense plot. Just enough uncertainty in the satisfying conclusion hints that another series entry is likely. Highly recommended.


—Andrew Smith
Kirkus Reviews
The resourceful fixer for the Speaker of the House of Representatives uses his considerable wiles to keep America's Muslims from falling victim to a vast conspiracy. Continuing the adventures of legislative fixer Joe DeMarco, Lawson (The Second Perimeter, 2006, etc.) 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. Reza Zarif, catatonic pilot of a private plane that was shot down moments before it smashed into the White House, was the son of Mahoney's old school pal Hassan Zarif. Hassan swears his son, who appears to have executed his family before the flight, was no fanatic, and Mahoney, a loyal pal, wants DeMarco to snoop around. As DeMarco investigates privately, an exceptionally undistinguished Virginia senator achieves long-sought public popularity with the introduction of a bill to identify and deport Muslims. This ridiculous piece of legislation gets traction first from the Zarif attack and then from a couple of similar near-misses involving supposedly fanatic Islamists. DeMarco quickly decides that the attackers were all victims, set up by someone with a lot of money but unclearmotives. Uncovering the motives requires cooperative action with his lesbian spook pal Emma and following a trail that leads both to the Senate and a hidden meth lab. A pleasantly relaxed thriller well suited to leftish political junkies. Agent: David Gernert/The Gernert Co.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802144195
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/8/2009
  • Series: Joe DeMarco Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 472,453
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.92 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

4 Star

(14)

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(5)

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Good one

    I enjoyed this third book in the DeMarco series. Good plot, characters, ending... kept me reading.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend

    Good book but gets a little long in getting to details of story, kind of like the dog chasing its tail around the tree.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Better and better

    The further into the series I get the more I like the cast of character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    consistently good author

    This is the third in the series and like the first two, it is engaging and punctuated with humor and intrigue. I will definitely complete the series and recommend it to all who wish to meet some different characters with interesting personalities.

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I am a big fan of all the (Joe DeMarco) series by Mike Lawson. Well written and takes you on a journey(s) and then brings you back home again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Interesting

    Slow start but it gets going.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2009

    Engaging

    Haven't finished the book but I'm getting close. I had a hard time putting it down; was getting exciting.

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  • Posted September 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Rules and Secrets

    After reading House Secrets and giving it five stars, I read House Rules, an earlier book by Mike Lawson. There's JoeDeMarco, Mahoney, and Emma, but that plot! How ridiculously contrived and totally unbelievable. It just goes to show that the same author with the same characters isn't always going to hit a home run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    Mike Lawson's books are outstanding.

    House Rules, like Lawson's previous books are exciting, fast paced, and worth the read. I'd give 5 stars and highly recommend them.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting post 9/11 Continental United States thriller

    Muslim terrorists attack the Washington, D.C. area by air, by car and by suicide bomber. Although all three attacks failed, the country panics as everyone assumes a new 9/11 will reoccur soonest as anyone with a competent thought knows you cannot negotiate with people willing to die for their cause especially if they fully believe God awaits to hug them.-------------- Amidst the fervor of patriotism and fear, House Speaker John Mahoney, having learned from Oklahoma City and the extremes exploited by our leaders after 9/11, calmly looks at the known facts. He has some doubts about the majority wisdom of the pundits that Middle Easterners are behind the assault and assigns his operative Joe DeMarco to investigate the incidents. Joe wonders if the attacks are tied to anti-Islamic legislation championed in a patriotic with me or terrorist supporter against me fervor of Virginia Senator William Davis Broderick who constantly reminds everyone of the failed attempt to blow up the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel on Labor Day.------------- This exciting post 9/11 Continental United States thriller is fast-paced, but what makes it a strong read is Joe who ¿escorts¿ readers through DC politcal power in which ambition, manipulation, and conspiracy is the norm. Fans will enjoy the hero¿s effort to learn the truth behind the attacks, but each step he takes seems to be murkier and fraught with ¿J¿accuse¿ danger as the shadowy opponents seem in control of the media recent NYT revelations on military experts on the TV news affirms Mike Lawson's theory that Pogo is right that we met the enemy and they are us. (see THE SECOND PERIMETER and THE INSDE RING).------------ Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 1, 2012

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