cover image House Divided: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

House Divided: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

Mike Lawson. Atlantic Monthly, $23 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1978-0

In Lawson's excellent sixth Joe DeMarco thriller (after House Justice), DeMarco, the fix-it man for womanizing, alcoholic John Mahoney, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, discovers he can get into serious trouble all on his own without the help of Mahoney, who spends this entry offstage in the hospital. When DeMarco's pious hospice nurse cousin, Paul Russo, is shot to death near the Iwo Jima Memorial, the position of the body%E2%80%94half on federal park property, half on an Arlington County sidewalk%E2%80%94presents a jurisdictional problem that's soon settled in favor of the feds. DeMarco, who barely knew his cousin and would rather be playing golf, finds himself unwittingly drawn into the mystery of Paul's murder and eventually a target of the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA. Readers will enjoy watching the smart, funny DeMarco, who's wise to the ways of Washington, as he extricates himself from one deadly threat after another. (July)