The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco, #1)
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The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco #1)

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,207 ratings  ·  156 reviews
The video begins with the President walking toward a marine helicopter . . . From a bluff overlooking Georgia s untamed Chattooga River, an assassin fires three shots. The President of the United States is wounded; his best friend and a Secret Service agent are killed. Two days later, a man in Landover, Maryland, commits suicide and in the man s home is overwhelming eviden...more
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,229)
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D.G.
**2.5 stars**

I had several problems with this book but my main issue was that I couldn't suspend disbelief. So the head of Homeland Security gets a note warning that something will happen to the President and he lets himself be convinced to do nothing? Worse, nobody takes the note seriously even after an assassination attempt? Please!

I liked DeMarco very much but I didn't like that he couldn't take care of business. Unlike Jack Reacher, John Rain or Jason Bourne, kicking ass wasn't his superpowe...more
Bill
Calling this book a thriller isn't quite right. It starts off with a bang. That's for sure. The President is shot. The man next to him is killed. Did someone on the 'inside ring' of his protection detail set him up? Will there be another attempt? There are plenty of questions. The problem is that for a long time all we have are questions. What is in short supply are thrills and suspense.

We meet some interesting characters. We're treated to a tour of some Washington D.C. sites and offices. We get...more
Susan
The assassin missed the President of the United States but one of his Secret Service guys was killed. And then a note left by a suicide closed the case. Or did it? One guy 'on the inside' of Washington politics thinks it was an inside job. That maybe even the Secret Service was involved. And he has a 'guy' Joe DeMarco - an attorney with a track record of finding out things. He puts Joe on the case and the story unfolds. This is first novel and the jacket says the second Joe DeMarco is under way...more
Yvonne (Fiction Books)
"A Conspiracy Thriller With Corruption At The Highest Level"

This is one of those books where the US and UK covers are completely different and although the US cover probably divulges more of the plot than its UK counterpart, the UK cover is probably the more dramatic of the two.

I quite often find that political thrillers, whether English or American in origin, can be a very difficult, consuming struggle to read and it can almost be a relief when the end is in sight. Not 'The Inside Ring' however...more
Kurk Harris
One of the best, most entertaining novels I have read this year. The author leads you through a twisted web of intrigue after an attempted assassination of the President. Non-stop action and suspense from the first page to the last.
Bob Peth
I was hoping I had found a new series to bury myself in for a while but I had a hard time just coming back to finish this first installment.

The pacing of the book is very disturbing to me- the author might spend many pages or chapters uncovering small bits of information and then you turn to the next chapter to get a raft of new clues/information that is just handed to you with no story around it - just kind of filling in the blanks. Also, the foreshadowing is so simplistic I found myself face-...more
Mike
The protagonist Joe DeMarco is no superman who goes around kicking ass and taking names like some series stars we all know of. He's just a regular guy with a good brain in his head who grinds his way to solutions more akin to how a real person might perform. When faced with professional thugs, he doesn't trot out the kung fu/karate/whatever...he gets the crap beat out of him!
This isn't 24/7 action (although there is enough!). It's a bit more nuanced and slower-moving, so if you suffer from a lit...more
Sam Sweeney
This is an excellent thriller for those who love action, suspense, and mystery. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire story. It is one big surprise after another and you never can guess what happens next. The characters are developed quite well which gives you a connection to each one. It also offers insight into the United States Government and can see the workings behind everything, even though it is fiction. Overall, it is a fantastic read and I recommend it to everyone.
Martha
This book is the first in a series, obviously, about a man who's been hired by speaker of the house and has an office in the capital building basement. Kind of an undercover private investigator who's been tasked with trying to get junk on folks so they'll vote the direction the speaker wants them to vote. Then there's an assisination attempt on the president. Seems that one of the inner circle of secret service, those people who are close to the president, acted "hinkey" just prior to the shots...more
Kari Anderson
An assassin takes three shots in Georgia. The President of the US in wounded, his best friend and a Secret Service agent are killed. Two days later, a man commits suicide, leaving a note admitting to the crime. But something doesn’t seem right with the Secretary of Homeland Security. He knows of a letter that came in just days before the shooting and thinks it was intentionally overlooked by the Secret Service Director.

That’s where Joe DeMarco comes in. Joe is the Speaker of the House’e go-to,...more
Jason
Now here is an author who can write!

Mike Lawson spins an intricate, complex web in his debut novel about political fixer, Joe DeMarco. DeMarco is a complex, compelling and never-dull character who serves in the shadows and at the pleasure of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (who is clearly based on the late, great House Speaker Tip O'Neill).

DeMarco is tasked with uncovering the truth behind an assassination attempt against the president. It's a task that takes him from the burea...more
JoAnn/QuAppelle
Another good action-packed Lawson thriller, this is #1 in the Joe DeMarco series. I read #3 first, so I knew Joe was going to be okay in this book. Lawson is a very clever and inventive writer and takes the Washington conspiracy thriller up a notch higher than others who write in this genre.

DeMarco has a very unusual "support system" - people whom he has met along the way who owe him favors and are glad to help when called upon. One thing I really like is that DeMarco is not portrayed as a supe...more
Sylvia
It opens with an assassination attempt on the president. He is only wounded, but his best friend and a Secret Service Agent are killed. It turns out that the attack wasn't without warning. General Andrew Banks, the Secretary of Homeland Security, received a note that the president was in danger, and even more alarming, that Secret Service agents guarding the president had been compromised.
General Banks is reluctant to tell the FBI about the note, So he requests help from his friend, Speaker Mah...more
Marti
This was a strange book. It starts out with a possible Presidential assassination, and then after a while, Joe DeMarco, the main character is off to the Okefenokee Swamp and the land around there, the fiefdom of a brutal man who likes to rape women--and even a demented daughter. He has an even more brutal man who can inflict all sorts of pain. Joe is accompanied by Emma--who is not someone with whom to trifle, herself. Will good conquer all? Read it and find out.
Mickey Hoffman
I've been reading this series out of order, so the characters were already known to me. This is the first book, so perhaps more could have been done to give some background. The plot is first-rate, however and the villains are so despicable, I couldn't wait to see them fall. The series relies on a complex and sometimes funny male lead and an important female accomplice who is a bit too implausible, but a lot of fun to watch.
Jared
I really like Mike Lawson's characters, their cynicism and corruption. I enjoy the side comments and thoughts of Joe DeMarco and his vivid similes when witnesses something ridiculous. I read other DeMarco books and really liked them so I thought I'd start with the 1st in the series. I liked it, but not as much as some others. Watch out for the vulgarity.
Dale Halling
Washington Mystery

This book is more of mystery than a thriller. The author takes you on a fun ride, with interesting characters. The definition of some of the characters seem to morph, but they eventually grow into themselves. If you like mysteries you will definitely enjoy this book.

Author of Pendulum of Justice
D
fairly fun airport read. the story picks up and becomes more interesting than a cliche'd beginning and first part of the first act would suggest.

reads sort of like a grittier grisham -- engaging narration, if not the most-original-ever characterizations. the dour, put-upon main protagonist initially reads as every single cliche'ed, hard-boiled, world-weary private-eye type you've ever reallllly not cared about in literature. but somewhere along the way his pratfalls and fatigue accidentally bec...more
Tim Smith
Ok... we've got murder, assassination attempts, rape, incest and political corruption with healthy doses of profanity. One might think that this is a nonfiction account of daily life in the USA. Fortunately, it is a work of fiction.

As I noted in my status updates, the audio book version of this title was not the best choice. Not sure if it was the overuse of profanity ( almost every paragraph) ot the voice of the narrator, but my recommendation would be to read rather than listen for this book.

I...more
Viccy
Days before an assassination attempt, the Department of Homeland Security received a note saying "the inner circle has been comprised." The outer circle is the remote perimeter of Secret Service and the inner ring are the agents covering the body of the President. The President's best friend is killed and the President is wounded. The Speaker of the House brings in his heavy hitter, Joe deMarco. Joe is the son of a made guy and has spent his life avoiding any connections to the Mob, but when he...more
Ron King
The beginning of this book was very exciting, but as the book went on I had a hard time wanting to continue with it. I will give this author another read, but I am hoping for more!
Colleen
This was a great political suspense novel. It has everything you would look for in a corrupt Washington; attempted assassination of the president, bogus politicians, son of a mafia kingpin doing odd jobs for the Speaker of the House...what more could you throw in there without getting exhausted?

I liked the way Lawson brought us into the story and how each character was presented. It moved at a good pace, and I didn't feel bored or rushed at any given time. The end was a little predictable, and...more
Marta
I happened across Lawson's newest book at the library and it looked interesting, so I went looking for the first book in the series. Nice! I really like the main character, Joe Demarco. He's so believable - no superhero feats, just an ordinary joe trying to figure something out and get the job done. I also adore Emma and I hope I see a lot more of her in future installments as I work through the series. I kept picturing Helen Mirren as the character she played in Red. I also liked the character...more
Al Menaster
Pretty good. Investigator for speaker of the house investigates an assassination attempt. Interesting conspiracy plot, lots of action. I figured this out pretty early, though.
Dan Smith
Outstanding-first book I have read by Lawson, but it will not be the last. This was not a long book, but lots of intrigue..

Will give Mr. Lawson a second look as a result
L.D.
Oct 28, 2012 L.D. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any one interested in political thrillers.
Recommended to L.D. by: book club selection
My first read by Mike Lawson. The story started out setting the stage, but as it continued, there were more characters with titles 'mudding the waters.' Joe DeMarco was a likable person with a sense of humor and the author did give insight to the political arena. As the story continued to the point of revealing the murderer, I felt there wasn't any excitement and the story continued till the end. I wasn't left with the feeling of, " wow, that's who the murderer was and I didn't see that coming!"...more
Robert
The first book introducing Joe DeMarco, who is some kind of bag man for the Speaker of the House, and a lawyer. An attempt on the Presidents life raises some questions of innocence of one of the agents on the inside ring of protection of the President. The man in charge of Homeland Defense asks for some help from the Speaker and gets Joe. And the reader gets a rip roaring fun read that culminates in a pretty cool premise for an ending. With a total of seven books currently in the series readers...more
Larry
Joe Demarco troubleshoots for the speaker of the house (serves as "bagman to a corrupt politician," as his ex-DEA pal Emma says). Demarco's first adventure begins when someone tries to kill the vacationing president, and one of the Secret Service detail acts oddly, if not criminally. Pretty soon, Demarco finds himself caught between the head of Homeland Security, the head of the FBI, the head of the Secret Service, the speaker, and several hired killers and psychos. The book is both suspenseful,...more
Shawn Fairweather
Man I had a lot of fun with this one. Fast paced on all accounts especially after I was a bit skeptical reading the first chapter. Enough characters varying personalities and roles were utilized to keep up the intrigue as well. This was a well written behind D.C. closed doors thriller that kept my attention the entire time. Nothing too difficult here, storyline easy to follow and always kept me guessing. I highly recommend this to anyone who is closely interested in the genre and I will definate...more
A.C. Birdsong
This, the first in the Joe DeMarco series, was a great read.

Pros:

Well written, good pace, an easy page turner. The plot/world, as constructed upon itself, is believable (I mean, I don't know anything about how the President is protected, but the way the author lays it out, it seems reasonable). Decent tension and mystery most of the way.


Cons:

A couple of the human losses seemed gratuitous and didn't move the story, and I thought the main villian had a bit too much arrogance and influence (especia...more
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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
More about Mike Lawson...
House Rules (Joe DeMarco, #3) The Second Perimeter (Joe DeMarco, #2) House Secrets (Joe DeMarco, #4) House Divided (Joe DeMarco, #6) House Justice (Joe DeMarco, #5)

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