HOUSE RULES by Mike Lawson


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The resourceful fixer for the Speaker of the House of Representatives uses his considerable wiles to keep America’s Muslims from falling victim to a vast conspiracy.

Continuing the adventures of legislative fixer Joe DeMarco, Lawson (The Second Perimeter, 2006, etc.) pits his hero against an unholy alliance of meth manufacturers and politicians. He’s following orders from his boss, the Speaker of the House, a shrewd, bourbon-swilling philanderer who, except for his political affiliation, could not be less like Nancy Pelosi. A pragmatic Boston Irishman with an eye for the ladies, Speaker Mahoney is a latter-day Tip O’Neill, wielding the levers of power like so many draught beer handles. He keeps DeMarco on a fat salary but hides him in the Capitol basement until he’s needed to handle those special errands such as the delivery of cash envelopes and the deconstruction of conspiracies, the latter being the task at hand. Reza Zarif, catatonic pilot of a private plane that was shot down moments before it smashed into the White House, was the son of Mahoney’s old school pal Hassan Zarif. Hassan swears his son, who appears to have executed his family before the flight, was no fanatic, and Mahoney, a loyal pal, wants DeMarco to snoop around. As DeMarco investigates privately, an exceptionally undistinguished Virginia senator achieves long-sought public popularity with the introduction of a bill to identify and deport Muslims. This ridiculous piece of legislation gets traction first from the Zarif attack and then from a couple of similar near-misses involving supposedly fanatic Islamists. DeMarco quickly decides that the attackers were all victims, set up by someone with a lot of money but unclear motives. Uncovering the motives requires cooperative action with his lesbian spook pal Emma and following a trail that leads both to the Senate and a hidden meth lab.

A pleasantly relaxed thriller well suited to leftish political junkies.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-87113-983-2
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2008


FictionHOUSE DIVIDED by Mike Lawson
by Mike Lawson