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 bombercauses 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.
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.
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.