House Witnessby Mike Lawson
The twelfth novel in the Joe DeMarco series, Mike Lawson puts his likable protagonist on the trail of a different kind of fixer.
In House Witness, the twelfth novel in the Joe DeMarco series, Mike Lawson puts his likable protagonist on the trail of a different kind of fixer—one whose job is to influence, and sometimes disappear, witnesses in seemingly airtight criminal cases.
Minority Leader of the House and DeMarco’s long-time employer John Mahoney has kept more than one secret from his wife over the years, but none so explosive as this: He has a son, and that son has just been shot dead in a bar in Manhattan. Mahoney immediately dispatches DeMarco to New York to assist prosecutor Justine Porter, but with five bystanders willing to testify against the killer—rich-boy Toby Rosenthal—the case seems like a slam-dunk. That is, until Porter begins to suspect that someone is interfering with those witnesses, and that this may be connected to a pattern of cases across the country. Is there someone who is getting witnesses out of the way when the fate of a wealthy defendant is on the line?
With the help of Porter’s intern, as outrageously smart as she is young, DeMarco becomes determined to follow that question through to its violent resolution in what turns out to be this series’ most unexpected plot yet.
Toby walked out to his car, which was parked directly in front of McGill’s. That was the only luck he’d had in the last three days: finding that parking spot. He jerked open the passenger-side door, opened the glove compartment, and pulled out the gun—a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver with a walnut grip and a three-inch barrel. He slammed the car door shut and walked back into McGill’s—and immediately saw the whale at a table, sitting by himself, still wearing his trench coat and his stupid hat. Toby walked over to him and, without hesitating, shot him three times. “That’ll teach you to fuck with me,” he muttered.
It was as if the sound of the gunshots woke him from a nightmare, and he suddenly realized what he’d done. He stood for no more than a second looking at the fat man—his white shirt was turning crimson—then he ran. He almost hit a busboy carrying a tray of glasses before he got to the door, banged it open, jumped into his car, and took off. He was driving away less than a minute after he killed Dominic DiNunzio.
As he was driving he kept saying, “What did you do? What did you do?” The short-barreled .357 was on the passenger seat, but it was no longer an inanimate object. To Toby it was alive, like a malignant machine in a Stephen King novel, giving off heat, possessing a dark, throbbing heart.