House Divided

Demarco is back and this time he was able to get in trouble without his boss.  Mahoney is in the hospital and Demarco had plans to use this time to catch up on some long needed golf and relaxation.  His cousin, Paul, dies in a questionable manner and Demarco’s attempt to simply find a will or be the executor of Paul’s estate turns into a race to find out what really happened to Paul. Demarco is not the only one who wants to know the truth about Paul’s death.  Demarco finds himself in the middle, one side is trying to find him to find out how much he knows and the other side wants to use him to get more information.

                I am a fan of political thrillers; really I am a fan of any book that can pull me into its world. It doesn’t matter if it’s a world saturated with werewolves and vampires or if it’s the world of Washington and Congress.  This unfortunately fell flat, and to be honest struggled with this book; until the end where the action kicked into high gear and began a race against times and assassinations.  The lingering impression I got from Demarco was that he didn’t care about his cousin’s death, even after he got the scent that something was wrong. Two-thirds of the book Demarco wasn’t interested in doing anything except finding Paul’s will so he could go back to playing golf.  He also didn’t seem to be too overly concerned that his boss, Mahoney, is laying in the hospital in a coma.  I haven’t read any of the other Demarco novels, but the impression that I get is that he is the one that usually gets Mahoney out of trouble, which gives me the impression that if nothing else Demarco is a resourceful character.

Lawson does a good job of depicting extreme patriotism and asking the question of whether or not it can go too far. I can’t say if that was his intention or a thread that I picked up on. There are certain people in the government that are patriotic and will do absolutely anything to protect their ideal of the country, even if it is not government approved. Charles Bradford and Dillon Crane both fall into this category; the extremes that they go through put them in the league of terrorist; the very people that they are out to destroy.  Though they both hold powerful positions within the government, they have either forgotten or not heard Franklin D. Roosevelt.  “In a democratic nation, power must be linked with responsibility, and obliged to defend and justify itself within the framework of the general good.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt) It is admirable that they both desire to protect America by whatever means necessary, but they have each lost sight of the values and character that define America.

Though I struggled to finish this book more than any other, I am glad that I pushed through and made it to the end. It is a scary idea to think that “big brother” is watching, and it is odd how paranoia comes into play and alters our perceptions. But they added elements to this story that made the ending truly better than I had expected. I also recommend reading the author’s note at the end for more appreciation. If you want to know more about Mike Lawson, Joe Demarco and any other books you can check out his website at This titles is scheduled to be released July 5,2011.

I have received a copy of this title through netGalley and I have provided an honest review.

Always Shine,

Starr K


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