HOUSE REVENGE by Mike Lawson


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Congressional fixer/troubleshooter/bagman Joe DeMarco takes up the cause of a feisty old lady whose landlord wants her out and who’s just as determined as he is to get her way.

No wonder developer Sean Callahan wants Elinore Dobbs out of her building on Boston’s Delaney Street. He stands to make millions by razing it and replacing it with the Delaney Square complex, and his combination of cash payouts, withheld services, and veiled threats has already emptied the place of all but a few tenants. But Elinore doesn’t want to move, doesn’t want Callahan’s money, and doesn’t take kindly to the pressure. Her Congressman, House Minority Leader John Mahoney, thinks sticking up for her will give him some good press, and he likes her in the bargain. He’s taken aback that Callahan, who’s just as stubborn as his tenant and has much more to lose, plans to wait him out and doesn’t mind telling him so to his face. So Mahoney takes his campaign against Callahan to the next level, sending all-purpose handyman DeMarco (House Rivals, 2015, etc.) to Boston to turn up the heat. Meanwhile, Callahan, who sees no reason to abate his own pressure on Elinore, sics his own fixers, Ray and Roy McNulty, on his refractory tenant, with results that take her out of the action just as DeMarco, who’s also met and liked her, is getting warmed up. Mahoney is perfectly comfortable continuing the battle against Callahan as a matter of principle, but DeMarco feels like a champion without a client, a champion who’s venturing into some very deep waters indeed.

A sour, effervescent, wholly delicious revenge fantasy so cynical about big money, big politics, and big crime that each new development carries a charge of amused resignation. The perfect chaser for an evening spent watching a presidential debate.

Pub Date: July 5th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2523-1
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2016


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