House Arrest
by Lawson, Mike






In the thirteenth book in Mike Lawson's celebrated series, Joe DeMarco finds himself on the wrong side of an investigation-in the wake of a political assassination, he's been framed as the killer.





Mike Lawson is a former senior civilian executive for the US Navy. He is the author of twelve previous novels starring Joe DeMarco and three novels with his protagonist Kay Hamilton.





*Starred Review* Another first-rate novel from Lawson, the thirteenth in his celebrated Joe DeMarco series (following House Witness, 2018), with a clever cliff-hanger ending that will both delight and concern his legion of fans. Veteran political fixer DeMarco is framed for the murder of the House Majority Whip, who is found shot dead in his office in the U.S. Capitol. DeMarco's boss, Congressman John Mahoney, does what he can to help, but when substantial evidence leads to DeMarco locked up in the Alexandria, Virginia, jail and fearing for his life, the cavalry rides over the hill in the form of DeMarco's ex-DIA agent friend, known to us only as Emma, who brings all sorts of talent, including ex-commandos and tech hackers, to the search for the true killer. Emma Peel herself has nothing on this woman, but this Emma rips around D.C. at an astonishing pace in an investigation that eventually turns up Russian spies and a ruthless captain of industry determined to avenge the death of the one true love of his life. In an earlier time, the sordid details of government would have been shocking, but not anymore. Lawson takes no prisoners, nonetheless, and this book proves beyond a doubt The Strand Magazine's recent assertion that Lawson's series is the closest thing on the market today to the witty political thrillers of the late, great Ross Thomas. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





Bagman/fixer Joe DeMarco, who has a law degree but has never practiced law, gets to see a whole new side of the legal system when he's expertly framed for murder. DeMarco's minding his own business, working late in his subbasement office in the Capitol, when an assassin shoots House majority whip Lyle Canton, who's also minding his own business in his spiffier office upstairs, to death. The ubiquitous security cameras strewn throughout the building catch little of note. But since DeMarco's patron, House minority leader John Mahoney, has been a frequent target of Canton's attacks, and since the killer sticks around for long enough to plant some highly incriminating evidence in DeMarco's office after he leaves, it's not long before he's arrested. DeMarco, who, incredibly enough, has heretofore spent only a single night in jail despite his checkered career (House Witness, 2018, etc.), can now expect a stay of at least a year while his attorney, Janet Evans, prepares his defense. The most likely way his stay can be shortened lies with billionaire businessman Sebastian Spear, the lover whom the slain politician's wife, Jean Canton, had been on her way to meet when she wrapped her car around a tree. It's pretty obvious to pretty much everyone except the police and the FBI that Spear hired Canton's murderer; now he's trying to reach inside the Alexandria jail and have DeMarco killed, too. So the story quickly settles into a high-stakes groove of thrust and counterthrust: Bill Brayden, Spear Industry's head of security, keeps hatching more and more inventive schemes to get DeMarco's fellow prisoners to kill him; Mahoney and his well-connected allies do everything they can to head off most of these attempts, foil the ones they can't head off, and bring down Brayden, Spear, and the actual killer before they succeed. Lawson's matter-of-fact tone, walking a fine line between satire and reportage, propels his tale forward despite its limited capacity for sur p rise. And his final sequence, both blackly comic and ineffably sad, provides the perfect conclusion. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





As Emma had no answer to Agent Peyton's question, she asked a question of her own: "Agent Peyton, have you considered the possibility that someone may be trying to frame DeMarco for Canton's murder?"

"You know, John Mahoney said the same thing and I'll tell you what I told him. In my twenty-five years in the Bureau, I've never heard of a single person being framed for a crime."

"Well, how would you have heard?" Emma said. "If the frame was perfect an innocent man would be sent to jail and no one would ever know."

"Yeah, but I've never even heard of a botched frame. Nor can I remember a defense attorney ever making a plausible argument in court that a client was framed. Mistaken identity, yes. Framed, no. People are framed in movies."

When Emma didn't immediately respond, Peyton said, "Let me ask you something, Emma. If a smart, rich person like you wanted someone dead, why would you do something as complicated as framing someone for the murder? Killing the guy yourself in some clever way would be simpler. Or if you couldn't do it yourself, why not just hire a sniper to shoot the guy?"

"I'll tell you why," Emma said, "and the reason is you."

"Me?" Peyton said.

"Yes. If the person I wanted to kill was a U.S. congressman I would know that the FBI would assign a man like you to the case, along with a hundred other agents, and you wouldn't give up until you caught me. But if I framed someone and if you caught the person I framed immediately-which you did in the case of DeMarco-then I might get away with the murder because you'd no longer be hunting for me."






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