Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

House Odds

A Joe DeMarco Thriller

by Mike Lawson

“Odds favor a good time for the reader as DeMarco faces his eighth case: a looming insider trading scandal with potentially fatal consequences. . . . One of the most enjoyable in the series.” —Kirkus Reviews

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date July 08, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2116-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $14.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 368
  • Publication Date July 02, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-1995-7
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $25.00

About The Book

Washington, D.C., fixer Joe DeMarco has been asked to handle a lot of difficult situations over the years for his boss, congressman John Mahoney. But nothing has ever been quite so politically sensitive, or has hit so close to home, as the task Mahoney hands DeMarco in House Odds.

Mahoney’s daughter has been arrested and charged with insider trading. An engineer with a high-flying technology firm, she allegedly placed a half-million dollar bet on one of the firm’s clients. DeMarco’s job is to clear her name and keep his boss clean. But how did she get her hands on so much money to invest in the first place? Before long, DeMarco uncovers far more about the case than meets the eye, and the risk to Mahoney is more than just a little political embarrassment.


“Outstanding.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Mike Lawson has a deservedly strong reputation for his robust, bemused tales of D.C. intrigue, and House Odds doesn’t disappoint.” —Adam Woog, The Seattle Times

“What a pleasure to read a book by a writer who gets everything right—the engaging protagonist, the fluid and often funny dialogue, the quick-paced and believable plot. ” Grade: A” —Michele Ross, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“If you’ve been reading and enjoying Block, Crais, Child, Pelecanos, Winslow, et al, you should also be reading Mike Lawson. He’s not as well known, but definitely belongs among these heavy-hitters. . . . Mike Lawson is a very fine writer. His plots are devious and intriguing, and his characters are well developed. ” House Odds is the 8th in this excellent series. I think it’s the best one yet. ” —JB Dickey, Seattle Mystery Bookshop

House Odds held my attention from start to finish. It has all the essential elements of a crackling good thriller: a great character (political fixer Joe DeMarco), a spellbinding plot, and clean crisp prose.” —William Bernhardt, author of Capitol Conspiracy

House Odds shows us just how dirty politics can be. . . . The author’s prose is stripped down, streamlined, and well-composed. The plotting is excellent, too. . . . Mike Lawson is a must read.” —Civilian Reader

House Odds gives you a look at the sordid underbelly of Washington politics where you will meet crooked politicians, evil gangsters, and violent fixers mixed into a clever, original, fast moving and unpredictable plot. Enjoy.” —Phillip Margolin, New York Times best-selling author of Sleight of Hand

“Lawson rivets in House Odds, throwing Joe DeMarco—that engaging charmer you want to have your back—right into the rear corridors of Capitol Hill, the power deals, and yes, the mob gets involved. Like Joe, we wonder, as he raises the question—who really are the bad guys?” —Cara Black, author of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

“Odds favor a good time for the reader as Joe DeMarco faces his eighth case: a looming insider trading scandal with potentially fatal consequences. . . . Funny lines, fiendishly complicated plotting, and swiftly and sharply etched characters make this installment one of the most enjoyable in the series.” —Kirkus Reviews


Spotted Owl Award for Best Mystery Novel by a Northwest Author


Preston Whitman was a lobbyist, a very good one, and his job was to convince politicians to vote the way his clients wanted. And Whitman’s clients paid his outrageous fees primarily for one thing: his ability to gain access to those in power. Access was everything. Once Whitman had slithered through a legislator’s door, he had a small arsenal with which to persuade: a pledge to contribute generously to the lawmaker’s next campaign; a position on a board after the pol retired; a special deal on an Aspen condo. He also had at his disposal think tanks staffed with experts—generals and geniuses and ex-cabinet members–and they could develop a viable, well-reasoned argument for any position. They could demonstrate why it was acceptable—hell, even patriotic—to sell flammable pajamas for toddlers if that’s what Whitman’s clients sold.

And that’s why Ted Allen had hired Preston Whitman. He’d paid the man a hundred thousand dollars to get something done in Congress but so far the lobbyist had failed to deliver.

Whitman had warned him in advance that he couldn’t promise to accomplish what Ted wanted, but Ted didn’t care. In Ted’s world, if you give a guy a hundred Gs, you expect to see results. And Big Al wasn’t happy either. Al thought Ted had used the money to bribe a congressman; Al approved of a bribe because he could understand a bribe. What he couldn’t understand was paying a lobbyist to influence several congressmen in a legal—or mostly legal—manner. Al was a dinosaur, but one with a heavy tail and very big teeth.