Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

House Rivals

A Joe DeMarco Thriller

by Mike Lawson

In the new novel in Mike Lawson’s critically acclaimed series, Joe DeMarco is dispatched to aid a young activist in North Dakota, and confronts an oil tycoon and a pair of fixers whose tactics are all-too-familiar.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 320
  • Publication Date July 12, 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2500-2
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

As a fixer for influential congressman John Mahoney in Washington, D.C., Joe DeMarco has found himself in plenty of unexpected and dangerous situations. In House Rivals, the tenth book in Mike Lawson’s award-winning series, DeMarco is taken further out of his element than ever before, sent to North Dakota to protect a passionate but naive twenty-two-year-old blogger who has put herself in harm’s way.

The young woman is Sarah Johnson, whose grandfather saved Mahoney’s life in Vietnam. For the past two years, Sarah has been on a relentless crusade against a billionaire oil tycoon who has profited handsomely from the natural gas boom in the Dakotas—and who she believes has been bribing small-time politicians and judges to keep things in his favor. Though she has no hard evidence against the man, Sarah has been assaulted and received death threats for her meddling. DeMarco, given his years of experience bending the rules in D.C., suspects that a middleman like himself is pulling strings for the tycoon. But as DeMarco tries to identify his adversaries, the situation turns unexpectedly violent, and DeMarco finds himself in a battle of wits against two ruthless problem solvers who will stop at nothing to win.

Smartly written with Lawson’s trademark smooth prose and subtle humor, House Rivals is an enthralling, timely thriller that readers won’t want to miss.


“There are many surprises along the way and justice is served, but not in the way one might expect. Kudos to Mike Lawson for the consistently high quality of this series. Always a joy to read.” —George Easter, Deadly Pleasures

“D.C. fixer Joe DeMarco, posted to the wilds of North Dakota . . . [goes] up against some fixers as impersonal as him. Everything here, from the hard-case characters to the headlong pace, is professional-grade.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This tenth Joe DeMarco political thriller tackles the murky world of state and local politics with the series’ hallmark blend of danger and cynical wit. . . . This is a solid thriller, both suspenseful and smart, much in the manner of the great Ross Thomas.” —Christine Tran, Booklist

“Lawson, a reliably excellent writer, is back with House Rivals . . . As always, Lawson’s plotting is ingenious and his characters memorable.” —Adam Woog, Seattle Times

“Joe is such a likable, real and mostly honest guy that the reader will go anywhere to spend some time with him.” —Michele Ross, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Fast-moving . . . a fun and entertaining read.” —John Irby, Bismarck Tribune


A Seattle Times bestseller (#3)


Sarah Johnson was a hell of a researcher. But she didn’t seem to be able to grasp the fact that just because a politician benefitted at the same time Curtis benefited that that wasn’t prima facie evidence of bribery. Rather than argue with her, he said, “Okay, go back over your blog and your notes and think about who might give us a lead on the person Curtis is using to fix things around here.”

“I will,” she said and stood up. “But then what? What do I do when I’ve got some names?”

“Then we go lean on these people and try to convince them to talk to you. I’m not much of a researcher but I’m pretty good at leaning on folks.”

“You’ll go with me? Seriously?”

“Yeah. For a while. I mean, I have a job in D.C. I need to get back to, but I’ll give this a few more days.” Sarah marched out of the restaurant like a woman on a mission from God.