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House Secrets (Joe DeMarco #4)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  742 Ratings  ·  72 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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Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the bad guy got what he deserved in the end, too many lives were damaged or destroyed in the process. 4 of 10 stars
B.R. Stateham
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
5 Stars, as usual. I'm always impressed with Mike Lawson's books. That is why I just can not stop reading them one after the other. His stories really give the definition of political thriller.
Joe DeMarco, who has a law degree, but because his father was tied to the mob, he couldn't get a job anywhere. Lucky enough, thanks to old affairs, gets "employed" from the Speaker of the House, John Mahoney. Secretly.
Mahoney sends him out to an old friend whose son has died. He wants DeMarco to look aro
Oct 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
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
Chris Degregorio
-Even though this book is fiction, it was very realistic and easy to believe that it could happen in real life.
-There weren't any dull moments in this book, it kept the reader engaged.

-The book is told from a third person omniscient point of view. This lets the reader piece together parts of the story that the protagonist doesn't yet know.

-The author describes everything form the setting to the characters in vivid detail. I ca
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I have enjoyed this series by Mike Lawson (the Joe DeMarco series). He writes solid thriller type books. I love his characters. They are well drawn and they all serve a purpose. I always hate it when the sole purpose of all the other characters is to stroke the ego of the MC and to make the MC look the best thing out there. Thankfully, Mike Lawson doesn't fall into that trap.

He also writes great stories that are creative. I've read a few books in this series and have enjoyed them all.
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
Terence M.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: will-read-again
Interesting and intriguing political and criminal drama. An enjoyable and easy to finish novel, well narrated by Joe Barrett, with an under-hyped and credible Joe DeMarco as the main protagonist.
Recommended. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a smooth reading with clear writings.. but somehow the story was not that much appealing to me, but having read it with the elections of USA 2016 happening in parallel ( President Trump elected on 9 of Nov ) , it made me think more of the powers of the President. . and it felt scary.. it gave me a lot of thoughts. .but well the ending was still satisfying( what I needed!! because of all the frustration I've built for the Senator Morelli ).
I'm on a roll reading Wash, DC based spy/thriller books. We're all being bombarded with all kinds of unsettling news from DC, so why not escape sideways a bit into real fiction land? (Or is it...? Hard to discern nowadays between fact and fiction...) But - take heart - this nifty, easy on the brain series is big on Just Desserts, and the hero, Joe DeMarco, is refreshingly human in a likable sort of way. I grew up in the DC area so any book that takes place there is like visiting home.
Gruesome but excellent. I really like the complexity of Mike Lawson's books.
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
James B
DeMarco books are unique in that they are part spy thriller and part crime book. As with the previous books, events lead DeMarco through a series of events in which we peel back the onion to an inner layer even more surprising, so much so that it involves DeMarco's paternal connections influencing events on Capitol Hill. In this case the murder of a reporter leads to an investigation of a potential presidential candidate and then on to, who?
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.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
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.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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".
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-mystery
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!
Wilde Sky
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An investigator, working for Congress, is asked to look into the death of a journalist and uncovers dark political secrets.

I found this book engrossing / a real page turner. The writing was good, the characters / plot were all believable and well thought out.

If you enjoy political thrillers you’ll probably enjoy this book.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-fiction
This was not supposed to be good since I'm not really into crime involving politician, but it's a real gem.
I picked it up at a BBW (cheap book) sales for only RM8 as i was grabbing as many book as i can at the time.
Half way through, i was ready to give it 5 stars & my opinion didn't change until the end of the story. The story was really engaging & i love it that most chapters were short.
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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)
  • 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 (Joe DeMarco, #10)
  • House Revenge (Joe DeMarco, #11)

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