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House Secrets (Joe DeMarco, #4)
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House Secrets (Joe DeMarco #4)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  494 ratings  ·  56 reviews

"It all begins with an assignment from the Speaker, John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, Joe DeMarco's wily hard-drinking boss. One of Mahoney's old colleagues has doubts about the accidental death of his son, a mediocre newspaper reporter who, in the days before his death, had claimed that he had a lead on the biggest political scandal since Watergate. But he always said things like

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Published July 8th 2009 by Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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B.R. Stateham
First, let me say Mike Lawson is a flawless, smooth writer. You start one of his novels and the pages just speed by you effortlessly. Let me also say that the main character in the novel, Joe DeMarco, is a dichotomy of viewpoints for me. On one hand you kinda like the guy. His job is interesting and he's got an interesting personality. But only up to a point. On the other hand, for a 'fixer' for the Speaker of the House (doing the dirty work for the Speaker of the Hous) the man should have more ...more
SETTING: Washington, DC
SERIES: # 4 of 4

The Joe DeMarco series are political thrillers with a difference. The protagonist is a lawyer who works in Congress at the will of the Speaker of the House, John Fitzpatrick Mahoney. DeMarco serves as a “fixer”, the person who smooths things over that are about to cause trouble. He doesn’t officially show as reporting to Mahoney; he has some small measure of independence that leaves folks guessing about who is calling the
Fun and thought provoking political thriller. Was definetely rooting for
Joe DeMarco. Brought a lot of thoughts on the current political situation. Didn't realize this was part of series by the author. It
would have been nice to work from the first book to the current one. One
can read this one though without having read the others.
I could NOT get into this book! It took me forever, but then about a quarter of the way into it I started focusing more on it in detail, and really became interested. By the time I was half way through the book I couldn't put it down, and ended up reading the last three quarters of the book (from when I got interested until I finished it) in just three days. It was great. So many people to follow and such a scary view on life and peresonalities, but amazingly well written and intersting.

It's th
A very enjoyable read. Not my usual sort of book but I picked it up on an Amazon Daily Deal when I needed something out of the norm after reading one that had upset shall we say. Great characters, well drawn, lots of politics which I love anyway, a good story that kept me guessing and snappy dialog. I loked it well enough that I bought the first book in this series and will start at the beginning with the author and his Joe DeMarco. Here's hoping the earlier entries were as entertaining as this ...more
Joe Demarco is the fixer for the Speaker of the House, only no one knows this. When the Speaker needs a problem fixed he calls on Joe. In this case a retired politician's son has just died and he wants to know why. Joe finds out why, but the truth is almost unbelievable, and there is no way for Joe to prove the truth. What he does is quite interesting, and makes a good ending to an already intriguing book.
Paul Morelli is on his way, the former mayor of Manhattan, he is now a senator and a shoo-in candidate for a presidential rum. But Paul Finley, a Washington Post reporter, knows there is something fishy going on. And then he turns up dead and the Speaker of the House sends his fixer, Joe DeMarco, to find out why. Joe has to call on all his resources, including his godfather and his friend, Emma, a former DIA agent. The bodies begin to pile up.
This is the first book in the Joe DeMarco series that I have read, and I really enjoyed it! I'm a fan of political thrillers and Lawson does not disappoint. House Rules is multi-layered with interesting characters coming in and out of the story, it wasn't until the very end that it finally came together for me. I love books that keep you guessing!
6-24-2013 NOT a re-read. I checked it out but it was too familiar.
Many of my mysteries are "at the moment" and the characters blend in.
This book remains a 5 star and I recommend it... it is one I remember and can't re-read too soon.

11-2-2012 Two years later, I re-read House Secrets.
Ditto what I said two years ago.
And doubly true for the ending. The format of the ending is not "my cup pf tea" but i kept
reading and I truly recommend you read until there are no more words to read.

#4 in Joe
I like Lawson's writing style, but I did find the main character Joe DeMarco a bit unbelievable in his not following through, his not, for being an investigator, and a fixer, being able to think through the steps by himself- just a bit irritating - Emma did all the hard work, but as this was the first DeMarco book I have read, I will read more- it did grow on me
Mickey Hoffman
I've now read all but one of the series and I think this is one of the best. It might also be a good book to begin with if you haven't started reading yet. There's enough background so you won't feel lost and it's told with wit and good plotting.
What can you say? Mike Lawson keeps setting himself a high bar with each instalment of the Joe Demarco series and he just keeps on clearing it easily. This is a great series and a great protagonist -- up there with Harry Bosch, for sure!
Dan Smith
Joe DeMarco is at it again-Following the instructions of the Speaker of the House and it almost gets him killed. This is a great story of political corruptness. I enjoyed it. Cannot wait to get another DeMarco story to read
Dona Matthews
this was an enjoyable summer read, a page-turner about situations and ideas that interest me -- the abuse of power, human weakness, and corruption in high-level politics and business.

i found the plot inventive, and the story gripping, and there were lots of interesting characters, concepts, and situations.

in spite of the book's real strengths, i gave it only 3 stars because i found some of the characterizations weak and implausible-- for example, why was joe demarco (the book's investigator an
Dan Downing
Mike Lawson does what an author should do: he gets better with each book. Reading "House Secrets" has added pleasure because Lawson assembles his cast of characters surrounding Joe DeMarco, letting us meet old friends if we've visited with Joe before, or giving us the pleasure of meeting special people for the first time.
As usual, Lawson gives us a multifaceted tale set in Washington, D.C., where we find an extraordinarily effective villain in addition to the usual inside the Beltway creeps we k
I quite enjoyed this book, as the DeMarco series progresses. I am sure that Lawson is coming up with new and exciting ways for Joe to delve into his past and pull out some great adventures.

While Lawson sdoes base his novels on true political evenbts, however vague they may be, he does individualise the entire plot and makes it come to life. I am never sure what waits around the corner and really look forward to things progressing.

I am almost caught up to his book series, but always want more Law
Love this series. Great fun read.
Joe DeMarco is sent on an errand for the Speaker of the House to check on the death of a former congressman’s son. But it’s never that easy; not with Lawson anyway. The story and the issues are much deeper. The story involves a senator and connection to the mob; a wife and a brother looking for revenge. With a plot worthy of a Mission Impossible episode orchestrated by Emma and executed by DeMarco. But the senator has other ideas and a plan of his own. He will have to be taken out before he is s ...more
I know I'm in the minority but I was terribly disappointed by this story. It got off to a terrific start; a real page turner. But then our hero got stupid. There is no way that someone who does what Joe DeMarco does for a living would be that surprised by what he uncovers, particularly as his investigation begins. Amateurs are allowed to be naive; professionals are not. The fabulous ending did not overcome that fatal flaw in the way the character is depicted.
Another entertaining, hard to put do down, book in the series. This one had a few more plot change in directions than the past books, though I expected that everything would resolve itself to the benefit of the good guys in the end. Having read 4 of these books a row, I was both surprised and pleased that, while the characters were familiar, they were not boringly so. I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series.
The last page is greatness!
Demarco is trying to find out if a very popular Senator is a rapist and a murderer. He knows but how to prove it?? Everyone is quiet about what he does to them. Someone is helping the Senator with his career.

Fast paced and moves well. Enjoy the quick pace of the writing. It doesn't drag in description yet we get the "picture".
The latest release in this series was another good read. I like Joe, the main character, and although he gets himself in some very tense situations, there is enough humor and minimum gore to keep me happy. After reading these books, I do find myself much more cynical about politicians - probably realistically so.
An escapist read of former spies and morally bankrupt politicians behaving badly. Joe is a bit hapless and I'd like to see his character develop a bit more (we're in the fourth book already) and the plot is a bit obvious, but escapist doesn't have to be perfect on the page. Love the Emma character!
This book was so good I read it twice. 50 pages in I realized the story seemed familiar. Nonetheless it was so good I read it again. I even stayed up till 1:00 AM to finish it even though I sort of remembered the ending. So either this was a very good book or I have early Alzheimers.
Another highly entertaining political thriller featuring my favorite regular guy character Joe DeMarco. While the plot did go a bit over the top the writing and the characters were top notch and the narration by Joe Barrett was much improved from the previous book.
Joe O'c
Excellent; Continuing character: Joe DeMarco; when the alcoholic wife of a senator with his eyes on the White House tells DeMarco that the man actually is an unspeakable monster, DeMarco needs to come up with an elaborate scheme to uncover the truth
Not sure why, but this one was better than the prior three. Maybe because DeMarco had so little help or because the reader was exposed to he nuances of his character and The Speaker in this one. I'm gonna read all of th as soon as they are in paperback.
Our hero is a lawyer/investigator who works for the U.S. Speaker of the House. He suspects a senator who is the leading democratic candidate for the office of president is guilty of rape and murder. This is the story of his investigation.
The story was pretty good with an evil politician as the villain. The hero investigator was practical and driven to do the right thing. The ending dragged on a bit and the killing of the villain was over the top.
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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 (10 books)
  • The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco, #1)
  • The Second Perimeter (Joe DeMarco, #2)
  • House Rules (Joe DeMarco, #3)
  • 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: A Joe DeMarco Thriller (Joe DeMarco, #10)
The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco, #1) House Rules (Joe DeMarco, #3) The Second Perimeter (Joe DeMarco, #2) House Divided (Joe DeMarco, #6) House Justice (Joe DeMarco, #5)

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