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House Revenge: A Joe DeMarco Thriller (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Mike Lawson’s House Revenge is a more straightforward thriller. We all – DeMarco, Mahoney, we readers – know who the bad guy is. But how’s DeMarco going to make him fall?

One of Mahoney’s constituents in Boston is being driven out of her apartment by a ruthless developer. Elinore is a tough old lady who insists she’s going to stick out the remainder of her lease. She’s holding up the progress on a massive re-development and the real estate mogul is using a couple of psycho brothers that he’s known since high school to make the lives of those still in the building a nightmare. DeMarco’s order are pretty simple – get the developer to back off.

‘Course we’re dealing with a number of people with very strong wills who have dug in their heels and refuse to budge. Something’s got to give and, unfortunately, that will be the skulls of Elinore and DeMarco – and that’s when the gloves come off.

DeMarco’s plans are not without risk of going sideways. Improvising as best he can, his plans are inventive and original – though not without their own problems. Still, the fun is watching DeMarco work it all out as he goes and seeing what his solutions are.

As usual, the book is full of his interiour commentaries, letting us in on his fussing and fuming over his boss, his job, his life, and the absurdities of the powerful.11th in this wonderful series.

— JB

Generally, when Mike Lawson's protagonist, Joe DeMarco, does a job for his boss, Mahoney, it's just that - a job. Complicated, borderline illegal, but just a job (except for that time when it involved Mary Pat. Mary Pat is special, and DeMarco would do pretty much anything for her, and who can blame him?), so when Mahoney sends DeMarco to Boston, it should be just another job. A developer is strong-arming an old lady, Mahoney wants the developer to back off, the developer, a man named Sean Callahan, refuses and insults Mahoney in the process, so Mahoney sends in DeMarco. Pretty standard stuff, right?

Except that DeMarco meets the old lady, Elinore Dobbs, and discovers he really likes her. So when Callahan's goons seriously injure Elinore, suddenly the job is no longer just a job.

 "Is she going to get better?"

"I don't know. I'm sorry. I wish I could tell you that she'll recover completely, but because of her age, she may not. We're going to keep her here for a couple more days, watch for swelling and internal bleeding, and maybe she'll recover. And maybe she won't. All I can tell you is that I'll do my best, but you should pray for her.

DeMarco wasn't a big believer in the power of prayer.

He did, however, believe in the power of revenge.

House Revenge hits all the right notes and is Lawson at his best. There are complications, there are twists and there is action galore. But, as usual, Mike Lawson creates the best people. It's fascinating to see how Mahoney has changed through the books, and DeMarco's made some changes himself. But in this, the 11th DeMarco novel, Mike Lawson has created new and fresh characters that are wonderfully real, and that's one of the things I love best about his writing.

And he tells one helluva story too!

— Fran


In House Revenge, Congressional fixer Joe DeMarco is dispatched to his boss Congressman John Mahoney's hometown of Boston. Mahoney wants him to help Elinore Dobbs, an elderly woman fighting against a real estate developer intent on tearing down her apartment building for a massive new development. Mahoney is just in it for the free press until Sean Callahan, the developer, disrespects him and even worse, Elinore suffers a horrible accident, likely at the hands of two thugs on Callahan's payroll. Now Mahoney and DeMarco are out for revenge. DeMarco tries to dig up dirt through Callahan's former mentor, and one of his ex-wives. But it's only when DeMarco gets a tip on the likely illegal source of some of Callahan's financing that things get deadly.
A fast-paced adventure into the cutthroat world behind the wrecking ball, House Revenge is another gripping tale of collusion and corruption from a beloved political thriller writer.

About the Author

Mike Lawson is a former senior civilian executive for the U.S. Navy. He is the author of ten previous novels starring Joe DeMarco.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802125231
ISBN-10: 0802125239
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: Joe DeMarco Thrillers (Hardcover)