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The Second Perimeter (Joe DeMarco #2)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  821 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
The dazzling sequel to The Inside Ring finds Joe DeMarco, the Speaker of the House's all-purpose "fixer" in a battle of wits against a lethal female spy.
When the Secretary of the Navy's nephew says he believes that two colleagues at a U.S. naval base may be committing fraud, his uncle is skeptical. Reluctant to launch an official investigation based on a relative's vague
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published July 18th 2006 by DoubleDay
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Versel Rush
I waited a while before doing a review--sometimes my mind changes when everything settles. In this case, it didn't

I liked the book but it was not as good as the first of the Joe DeMarco series.

I don't "do" plot synopsis--you can get that from Amazon or Goodreads or the back of the book.

I still like the characters (Joe as well as the recurring ones). The plotting was good as well. So, why did I give it 3 stars instead of 5?

The book was too inconsistent. There were times that everything churned al
Apr 11, 2010 JoAnn/QuAppelle rated it really liked it
I have now read all of the Joe DeMarco thrillers by Mike Lawson and cannot wait to read the new one, due out in October.

This one was a page-turner just like all of Lawson's others, and kept me guessing to the end. I love the fast pace that keeps me turning pages late into the night!

Lawson's stories are (mostly) believable and have enough detail so that the reader knows that this is an author who knows what he is writing about. I could do without his slight amount of editorializing, but try not
S.R. Lobban
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2017 Coolchoc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DeMarco does it all

He's lucky in escaping death but unlucky in life and his career. Some things were stretched but a good read anyway.
Cheryl Gatling
The second perimeter of the title refers to the protection of classified information. The first perimeter is the physical barriers like fences and badges. The second perimeter is the people who work in the sensitive area, keeping their eyes open for anything that's not right. That's how this book opens. A guy who works at a naval shipyard thinks there is something funny about the new consultants who were hired. He calls his uncle (who just happens to be Speaker of the House) and an investigation ...more
Red Fields
Jul 13, 2009 Red Fields rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys spy -mystery thrillers.
Recommended to Red by: friend at work had it, wife picked up for him, and knowing how I
What I can say so far is, Mike Lawson has taken his main character, "Joe DeMarco" who on Capital Hill is a House of Representatives' "main man who fixes people, things, etc." where Lawson turns him into a hero of sorts. He ends up involved in the spy world where the most lethal, is, of course, a woman.

I've really gotten into this book as my 161 pages was a first sit read. I really like the way Lawson describes his characters and how even though its thorough, to be sure, you get to image things
A good second book from Lawson. Joe DeMarco, the Speaker of the Houses's troubleshooter is brought in when the Secretary of the Navy's nephew thinks something is funny on the shipyard he works at. As Demarco and his friend Emma start to investigate the Sec Nav's nephew ends up dead along with the person who gave the consulting contract to the people they are investigating. As the bodies start to pile up they start to investigate which foreign country is involved and how bad the breach is Emma is ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Viccy rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Joe DeMarco, son of a Mafia hitman and fixer for the Speaker of the House, has been sent my Mahoney, the Speaker out to Bremerton, Washington to check up on a problem. The nephew of the Secretary of the Navy has complained about two guys who appear to be padding the accounts. Joe discovers they are spying for the Chinese and much gunfire ensues. Turns out that Joe's friend, Emma, retired from the DIA was involved in a case 20 years ago that resulted in the death of a young Chinese man. Now that ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Lawson writes another great novel, using a great mix of characters, including Joe DeMarco, to bring this political thriller to life.

I enjoyed the underlying themes of the book and it ran ong quite well, at least until the last quarter, where I found that things starte dragging, through a tangential storyline.

I have come to like DeMarco and will keep reading the books, but hope that Lawson injects more thriller and politics into the next in the series.
Pamela Belknap
Apr 14, 2012 Pamela Belknap rated it it was amazing
Mike Lawson has done it again! A real page turner. I read this on my Nook at the gym while on the treadmill...I can honestly say I actually looked forward to going to the gym!

The thing I'm really liking about this series is how they portray the fact that Emma's a lesbian as a non-issue. It's a refreshing change. I also like the fact that Joe is not perfect, but he's still willing to do what's necessary for a case.
Jan 15, 2015 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
This is the second DeMarco book and a pretty darn good one at that. This guy is a politicians version of a bag man, sent to handle those often times odd jobs as needed. In this one we have some espionage taking place at a naval base and DeMarco just kind of steps into it. Then his friend winds up in the crapper too and things start to heat up. Good stuff and look forward to the next in the series.
Mickey Hoffman
Aug 26, 2014 Mickey Hoffman rated it liked it
This book is an implausible story about spies. I liked the characters and I liked the plot for the first half of the book, but the more I learned about WHY the less I cared about HOW. I'm not very interested in scene after scene where someone is stalking someone else. If you like that sort of thing, go for it. I liked Lawson's other books more.
Oct 08, 2012 Cyndy rated it really liked it
I read this out of sequence in the series, but I don't think it matters - there are tidbits in the series that give you the gist of what has happened before. If that bothers you, read the books in order. I'm enjoying the political play in fiction much more than I do in real life. Reading the books, it felt to me that the books cover what happens behind the scenes in politics.
May 18, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it
This is a very entertaining series, with this one being the 2nd book. I enjoy spending time with these characters and want to know more about them. This time, you get to learn a little bit more about Emma's history in the CIA. Sometimes you just want to be entertained and this series so far does the trick.
Dan Downing
Feb 27, 2013 Dan Downing rated it liked it
Lawson is better know in the Northwest than nationally, a circumstance that could be changed any time one of his books catches a well deserved wave. Well plotted, with a likeable but far from perfect central character, reading his Washington, D.C. based novels always keeps me reading beyond my bedtime.
Aug 22, 2012 Francisco rated it it was amazing
DeMarco and Emma return to investigate suspicious activity at a naval base in the Pacific NW. "We have to learn to act better then our enemies." There is a deeper truth to Larson's novels then espionage of American secrets to foreign governments.
A 20 year old case comes back to haunt Emma and its good to have DeMarco on your side.
Oct 01, 2014 Jared rated it liked it
I have really enjoyed the Joe DeMarco series when I started with the some of the later books. Going back to the beginning I have realized I like the latter books more. I may not have stuck with the series if I had started with books 1&2 so I'm glad I read them out of order. Mike Lawson's characters are not to be taken seriously, which is what I love about them.
Mike Klein
Sep 09, 2015 Mike Klein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I like about this series is that the hero isn't perfect, he's not the smartest, most fit or sexiest person in the book and that's OK. He's the focal point and as such an interesting character. The plot isn't completely believable, and there maybe are a couple too many coincidences but overall a fun read.
Mar 15, 2015 Margaret rated it it was ok
Political thriller (of sorts) that strays from its political roots and so is not as interesting as the #1 in the series. Uneven arc to the plot(s) line(s). Let's hope that author Mike Lawson has a better junior year after this sophomore slump...
Joe O'c
Jul 26, 2012 Joe O'c rated it liked it
Very Good; Continuing character: Joe DeMarco; while investigating a complaint regarding possible espionage at a nuclear base, DeMarco and friends come across a much larger plot and a very scary villain
Fun thriller featuring a fixer for the speaker of the house. The main character understands his limits and while he gets the job done he never seems like a superman. Audio read by Scott Brick
Aug 15, 2010 HBalikov rated it really liked it
Joe DeMarco may not grow much as a character in this second book but he is getting around to interesting places and, again, with much at stake. 4 stars reflects the compelling, page-turning way in which Lawson constructs his thriller.

Now on to the next.
Jan 22, 2016 Celine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The caption "if you like Lee Child, you'll love Mike Lawson" got my attention as I've read all Lee Child books, but I have to say that this novel doesn't come close to Lee Childs suspense and stories.
Gaile Wakeman
Aug 27, 2011 Gaile Wakeman rated it it was ok
Not such a hot writer but good story. His physical descriptions of the male protagonists began to make me giggle as they were so much the same, without imagination and superfluous to the story.Made want to be an editor.
Aug 31, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
I like this book, but I think the author should spend more time developing DeMarco. He's a good protagonist, but there seems to be more about Emma than anyone else. The plot was ok. Altogether, an average book.
James Poole
Picked this up as was sucked in by the "if you like Lee Child, you will love Mike Lawson" - sorry fully disagree! Main character is not a touch on Jack Reacher and will not be returning to the author for further reads.
Dan Smith
Apr 26, 2014 Dan Smith rated it it was amazing
If you have not caught on to Mike Lawson's books.. you should. Wonderful tales of a congressional staffer who works for the Speaker of the House. Joe DeMarco has friends in high places and he uses them only when needed..

Great stories.
Sep 18, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
This is the 2nd book in the Joe DeMarco series. Joe is fixer for a Washington DC senator. I have liked all of this series. Makes me wonder if this is how Washington works, which it probably does. Interesting plots with recurring characters.
Jan 05, 2013 Bob rated it liked it
Joe Demarco is a fixer who works out of a basement office for the Speaker of the House. He gets called in by the Speaker help the son of a friend and finds himself mixed in an espionage case involving stolen classified information. Not outstanding, but a decent read worth 3 stars.
Aug 20, 2009 Don rated it liked it
Well written, engaging, several twists to the plot. This is author's second book and in the spy, thriller category, I suspect he will do well. Sort of like NCIS
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Pen name: M.A Lawson

Michael Lawson was raised in Pueblo, Colorado and attended college at Seattle University, receiving a degree in engineering. On leaving college he went to work for the US Navy as a nuclear engineer, spending approximately thirty years working for the Nav
More about Mike Lawson...

Other Books in the Series

Joe DeMarco (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco, #1)
  • House Rules (Joe DeMarco, #3)
  • House Secrets (Joe DeMarco, #4)
  • House Justice (Joe DeMarco, #5)
  • House Divided (Joe DeMarco, #6)
  • House Blood (Joe DeMarco, #7)
  • House Odds (Joe DeMarco, #8)
  • House Reckoning (Joe DeMarco, #9)
  • House Rivals (Joe DeMarco, #10)
  • House Revenge (Joe DeMarco, #11)

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