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The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,047 Ratings  ·  215 Reviews
"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 leaves behind overwhelming evidence that he was responsible for the assassination attempt." "General Andy Banks, the ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Anchor (first published May 17th 2005)
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Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Joe Demarco is the son of a well known gangster. An attorney, he works for the Speaker of the House as a fixer. DeMarco thinks his ancestry keeps him from decent work. Guess he never heard of the Kennedys.

Someone tries to assassinate the President. The Speaker sends Joe to investigate. Not because he's worried about the president, but to get something on the head of the secret service.

Of course, it all goes back to 1963.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This novel begins earnestly but loses steam through tortuous actions inflicted upon the supposed hero. The ending was clipped and left this listener feeling short-changed. 5 of 10 stars
Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, nook, j-read
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
Yvonne (Fiction Books)
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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
**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
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a government thriller with secret service, FBI, etc I can't wait to read the next books in the series. Good author. It had intrigue and suspense.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting government conspiracy thriller. It was an easy read.
Bob Peth
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
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-
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Kurk Harris
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't normally read books that have a political feel to it, but this was recommended and it did spark my attention..I was really glad that I picked this up and can tell you that it never lost my interest.
Already on his 2nd book in this series.

Joe DeMarco is a lawyer, well kind of..He works in the subbasement of the White House for the Speaker of House, Mahoney. You never know what to think about this "boss" but by the end of the book I had figured him out and liked him.

Joe is sent on different
Katharine Ott
"The Inside Ring" - written by Mike Lawson and published in 2005 by Anchor Books, a division of Random House. This mystery-thriller, the first in a series, features hard-nosed investigator Joe DeMarco, who answers to the Speaker of the House in Washington DC. He gets the under-the-table jobs that don't show up in official reports and his job in this story is a doozy, to look into the possible collusion of a member of the Secret Service in an attempted assassination of the President. DeMarco has ...more
James Yaklin
I like that it was a nice short read. And the plot was just enough to hold the reader's attention. The story was quite interesting with a small plot twist at the end - nothing that left you with your jaw hanging or anything, but a surprise nonetheless.

My biggest dislike was the language. This book was heavy on adult colloquialisms. There were times that I was convinced the "narrator" was a drunken sailor. I have to repeat, in my opinion such a heavy use of this kind of language lends nothing to
Victor Flores
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was great starting off & leading to the end of it. Overall it was a decent book. Will I read another Joe DeMarco book? Probably. I like gore and this novel had it. There are characters that I liked and others I totally despised *Morgan & Taylor* cough cough**. A problem I had with this one was that you had to memorize so many characters, some go and some stick around to make DeMarco's life a bit more complicated than it should be (almost everyone, especially Banks, Mahoney, &am ...more
Jim Willse
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
First in series with some interesting premises. Protagonist is a fixer for an evil (more evil?) version of Tip O'Neill. Lots of engaging secondary characters and villains, but plot not just strains credulity, it ruptures it. I'll try another.
Teri Pre
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nov2017
I can always tell when a book is a first effort. Authors try to fit too much into the book and don't let it play out naturally. I could almost FEEL Lawson fighting to get his characters to do what he wanted them to do. I checked and the next book has a higher rating. I have hope!
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was just ok - I was hoping it would be the beginning of a good series, but I don’t think I’ll continue. My husband would probably like it.
Mark Wheeler
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Didn’t really like the characters but story was good. Give another book I the series a try and see if it’s any better
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story was a bit different from most of my reading, but it did keep me interested, and the reveal was unexpected, interesting, and realistic given the circumstances. I recommend it.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent start to a writing career & series
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice introduction

It's refreshing to experience a book from the fixer's perspective. Think Ray Donovan, if he were a government employee...without a safety net.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, mystery
The Inner Ring introduces Joe DeMarco, professional liar and hired heavy. His usual boss is the Speaker of the House but, in this case, he has been loaned out to the Secretary of Homeland Security. There has been an attempt on the president’s life and Joe has been asked to discreetly investigate whether it is an inside job. For some reason, the head of the secret service is obstructing his investigation. Involvement or ego? This is fiction so it could be either. Navigating the intricacies of Was ...more
Kari Anderson
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.75 Stars

Well, this was something different.

What I liked: Joe DeMarco is a troubleshooter for the Speaker of the House of Representatives and he's not exactly a bada*s. A hero who's not a super extraordinary individual. I thought I had the main character wrong when I first started reading The Inside Ring.
I'm used to reading about how tough and intelligent the main character is, that's not exactly what I got when I read this first in the series. You know what? I was okay with it. DeMarco is sma
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, series, overdrive
Political intrigue and twists to the max. Great fodder for conspiracy buffs, and just plausible enough to make you wonder. The political maneuvering especially of Speaker of the House Mahoney is fascinating. I'm sure what goes on would horrify me.
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
With very little to go on and no experience whatsoever, DeMarco is assigned to investigate the one man in the President's Secret Service who is singled out as being involved in the President's assassination attempt. Having passed the legal bar years earlier DeMarco should know that a legal case cannot be made on such flimsy evidence as he has. On the other hand, there seems to be a cover-up from the inside and DeMarco's attempts at explaining his theory are scoffed at. Understandably but who's b ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 08, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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Other books in the series

Joe DeMarco (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Second Perimeter (Joe DeMarco, #2)
  • House Rules (Joe DeMarco, #3)
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