Sunday, December 01, 2019

Brief Mention: HOUSE ARREST by Mike Lawson, Political Thriller

A new Mike Lawson title is always welcome, and early 2019 release of HOUSE ARREST carried me along as a fast page-turner with Washington, DC, conflict. (Apologies for the delay is posting. Life got in the way.) But this political thriller has nothing to do with the controversial presidential administration of the moment -- and everything to do with classic crime fiction motives like money, power, and love. Plus it's a great brain teaser!

Series protagonist Joe DeMarco is a troubleshooter for US Congressman John Mahoney—he does the slightly unpleasant work that a congressman can't afford to be connected with. So although he has a DC office, small and shabby, he has little clout on his side. Almost casually, he's framed for a high-profile murder of another congressman, and almost immediately gets arrested, locked into a jail that's also hosted high-profile federal prisoners in the past. And he doesn't have an attorney:
Consequently, he didn't call a lawyer; he called the only person who could help him, praying she'd answer her phone. She often ignored phone calls; he just hoped she didn't ignore this call tonight.

She answered the phone saying, 'Yes?"—which was the way she usually answered the phone.

"Emma, it's Joe. I've been arrested for murdering Lyle Canton. I'm at the Alexandria city jail. I need a lawyer."

His statement was greeted by several seconds of silence, before Emma said, "Okay." Then she hung up.

DeMarco thought: She could have at least acted surprised that I've been accused of murder.
Count on this frame to involve big money, lots of power, and chases and investigation that will put DeMarco at risk. It's a classic thriller investigation, and a great way to put your feet up and forget your to-do list. Not heavily promoted, so you may not have heard of the series, but fans of Joseph Finder will recognize the action and brisk narrative. Classic escape suspense, very enjoyable!

PS:  Looking for more mystery reviews, from cozy to very dark? Browse the Kingdom Books mysteries review blog here.


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