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Mike Lawson books in order

Mike Lawson is an American author of thriller novels.

Raised in Pueblo, Colorado, he graduated from Seattle University with a degree in engineering, before joining the U.S. Navy as a nuclear engineer, where he spent three decades working for the Navy’s nuclear power program.

Although he was in Washington D.C. for a while, Lawson spent most of his career at a huge naval shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, where he managed several different organizations related to overhauling nuclear powered submarines, cruisers, and aircraft carriers.

Now a published author, Lawson retired as a member of the government’s Senior Executive Service, as well as the top civilian at the shipyard.

He made his debut as a novelist with The Inside Ring (2005), the first book in the Joe DeMarco Series.

Lawson, who is married, lives in the Pacific Northwest, where he writes and plays golf.

More about Mike Lawson

Genres: Political Thriller, Thriller

United States


Non Series

  • Redemption (2022)

Joe DeMarco

  1. The Inside Ring (2005)
  2. The Second Perimeter (2006)
  3. House Rules (2008)
  4. House Secrets (2009)
  5. House Justice (2010)
  6. House Divided (2011)
  7. House Blood (2012)
  8. House Odds (2013)
  9. House Reckoning (2014)
  10. House Rivals (2015)
  11. House Revenge (2016)
  12. House Witness (2018)
  13. House Arrest (2019)
  14. House Privilege (2020)
  15. House Standoff (2021)
  16. Alligator Alley (2023)
Non Series

Detailed book overview

Non Series


A man discovers that quitting his job comes with a price—his life.

With his reputation permanently marred by an insider trading conviction, Jamison Maddox, a young Wall Street broker, reluctantly takes a job doing research for a small company in the sleepy town of Redemption, Illinois.

But when he falls in love with a beautiful and enigmatic colleague, Gillian, Jamison begins to realize that he may be doing illegal work for the company. So when she asks him to run away with her, he agrees wholeheartedly. The two set off across the country, hoping to secure some money and go into hiding. The company is soon on their tails, pursuing them with the single-minded goal of silencing them forever.

If Jamison hadn’t realized how dangerous these people really are, he now realizes they will stop at nothing to protect the company. And he has no idea that his lover, a stunning woman shrouded in mystery, is as dangerous as the people he’s running from.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09JTWNG8Z
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Joe DeMarco

The Inside Ring

There has been an assassination attempt on the president. He is only wounded—but his best friend and a Secret Service Agent have been killed.

As it turns out, the attack wasn’t without warning. Gen. Andrew Banks, Secretary of Homeland Security, received a note that the president was in danger, and even more alarming, that Secret Service agents guarding the president had been compromised. General Banks is reluctant to tell the FBI about the note, partly for self-serving political reasons, and partly because he doesn’t want to damage the Secret Service’s reputation based on something that might very well be a hoax.

So he requests help from his friend, Speaker Mahoney, and Mahoney assigns his man Joe DeMarco, who must untangle the truth behind the tragedy—and assess the danger . . .

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2005
Ebook: B0061T1ZJ4
Publisher: Grove Press
The Second Perimeter

When it comes to dealing with possible scandals, Joe DeMarco made his bones working for the wily Speaker of the House John Mahoney. But now Joe’s unique skills are needed outside the nation’s capital.

The secretary of the Navy has received a tip that fraud is being committed on a US Naval base. Unwilling to launch a formal investigation, the secretary has asked Mahoney to send DeMarco to investigate before things get out of control.

It doesn’t take DeMarco long to uncover not fraud, but outright treason and foreign infiltration on the base—which puts him right in the crosshairs of a ruthless foreign operative who proves to be deadlier than any foe he’s ever faced before.

NB: This book is also known as The Payback.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0802145604
Publisher: Grove Press
House Rules

Two foiled terrorist attacks and a law targeting Muslim Americans are about to send Joe DeMarco on a dangerous mission among mobsters, meth dealers, and the political elite.

First there was the bomb meant for the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Then a private plane headed straight for the White House is shot down. An atmosphere of fear and panic overruns the country, and when a senator proposes to run extensive background checks on all Muslims and deport any who aren’t citizens, his bill gains surprising traction. John Mahoney, the larger-than-life Speaker of the House, is not pleased. But Mahoney has a connection to one of the attackers, one he wants kept secret. So he calls on Joe DeMarco...

NB: This book is also known as Dead on Arrival.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2008
Ebook: B006YWRSDK
Publisher: Grove Press
House Secrets

Days after claiming he had a lead on a story that would make Watergate look like a misdemeanor, a mediocre writer from the Washington Post is found accidentally drowned. But Joe DeMarco’s boss—the Speaker of the House—thinks there’s nothing accidental about it. Mostly because the reporter was on the trail of Senator Paul Morelli.

Morelli is all but a shoe-in for the Democratic presidential nomination. But his golden boy public persona hides a monstrous character. Somehow, all of his sinister scandals seem to be cleaned up by a mysterious benefactor who stays just out of sight.

Setting up a sting to catch the predatory Morelli, DeMarco thinks his job is done—until those who helped him with the sting start turning up dead. And unless he can uncover the powerful people who are protecting Morelli, DeMarco knows he’s next...

NB: This book is also known as Dead Man's List.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0802144805
Publisher: Grove Press
House Justice

When an American defense contractor goes to Iran to sell missile technology, the CIA learns about it about it from a spy in Tehran. But when the story is leaked to an ambitious journalist, the spy is caught, brutally tortured, and executed.

Joe DeMarco’s boss, Speaker of the House John Mahoney, tasks him with finding the leaker. But Mahoney has his own reasons for taking action. He once had an errant fling with the journalist who broke the story—and now that she’s in jail for refusing to compromise her source, she’s threatening to tell all unless Mahoney helps her.

But someone else is out to avenge the spy’s death, and hoping DeMarco will lead him straight to his prey. And if DeMarco gets in the way, he’ll have to die, too...

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2010
Ebook: B003TFELFS
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
House Divided

When the NSA was caught illegally wiretapping US citizens, the program was brought to a screeching halt. But the man behind the operation simply moved it into the shadows. And that’s where they’ve recorded a rogue military group murdering two American civilians—one of whom is related to Joe DeMarco.

As he handles the burial of his cousin, DeMarco is unwittingly drawn into a battle for influence, power, and survival between the NSA and a ruthless four-star army general. But neither side realizes that DeMarco is no one’s pawn. And if they think they have trouble dealing with each other, they have no idea how much trouble DeMarco is about to bring to their doorsteps...

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2011
Ebook: B0055UQAYU
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
House Blood

Things have been better for Washington, DC, insider Joe DeMarco. His boss is no longer Speaker of the House and his girlfriend has left him. So, when he’s asked to look into the murder conviction of a lobbyist, he’s less than enthusiastic. But he soon uncovers a conspiracy that ignites his sense of righteous rage.

Two years ago, Orson Mulray, CEO of Mulray Pharma, discovered a miracle drug worth billions. But the drug needed to be tested on humans. And Mulray needed more than blood samples—he needed autopsy results. So he sent the drug into a devastated warzone as part of a “relief effort.”

But when his twisted scheme was discovered, someone had to die—and a certain lobbyist had to take the fall for murder. To clear his name, DeMarco must go up against a remorseless corporate juggernaut with almost unlimited resources, and take on a pair of callous killers unlike anything he’s ever encountered...

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0802146076
Publisher: Grove Press
House Odds

Political fixer Joe DeMarco has handled plenty of difficult situations for his boss, congressman John Mahoney. But nothing has been so politically sensitive, or hit so close to home, as his current assignment.

Mahoney’s daughter has been arrested for insider trading. An engineer with a high-flying tech 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’s name clean in the process.

But DeMarco discovers that Mahoney’s daughter has gotten mixed up with some very wealthy and dangerous criminals who used her to make a quick fortune. And they aren’t about to let DeMarco get in their way.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0802121165
Publisher: Grove Press
House Reckoning

Joe DeMarco always knew that his father, Gino, had worked for a local New York mafioso. But it was only after Gino was murdered that DeMarco found out the truth—that his father was a cold-blooded killer for the mob.

Now, twenty years later, a dying mob associate tells DeMarco a shocking secret: His father was killed by an NYPD cop who has since risen to the rank of police commissioner. And now, that police commissioner has been nominated to take control of the FBI.

Torn between his long-held moral code, his conflicted love for his father, and his desire for vengeance, DeMarco must decide how to stop his father’s murderer before the man becomes absolutely untouchable: with his brains and his respect for justice—or with a bullet?

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0802123756
Publisher: Grove Press
House Rivals

As a fixer for influential congressman John Mahoney in Washington, D.C., Joe DeMarco has found himself in plenty of unexpected and dangerous situations.

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.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0802125002
Publisher: Grove Press
House Revenge

Congressional fixer Joe DeMarco is dispatched to his boss Congressman John Mahoney’s hometown of Boston. Mahoney wants him to help Elinore Dobbs, an elderly woman fighting against a real estate developer intent on tearing down her apartment building for a massive new development. 

Mahoney is just in it for the free press until Sean Callahan, the developer, disrespects him and even worse, Elinore suffers a horrible “accident,” likely at the hands of two thugs on Callahan’s payroll. 

Now Mahoney and DeMarco are out for revenge. DeMarco tries to dig up dirt through Callahan’s former mentor, and one of his ex-wives. But it’s only when DeMarco gets a tip on the likely illegal source of some of Callahan’s financing that things get deadly.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0802126825
Publisher: Grove Press
House Witness

John Mahoney, Minority Leader of the House and Joe DeMarco’s longtime employer, 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 rich-kid killer, 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 someone 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, veteran DC fixer DeMarco becomes determined to follow that question through to its violent resolution...

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0802129314
Publisher: Grove Press
House Arrest

As the fixer for Congressman John Mahoney in Washington, DC, Joe DeMarco has had to bend and break the law more than a few times. But when Representative Lyle Canton, House Majority Whip, is found shot dead in his office in the US Capitol and DeMarco is arrested for the murder, DeMarco knows he’s been framed. Locked up in Alexandria awaiting trial, he calls on his enigmatic friend Emma, an ex-DIA agent, to search for the true killer.

Emma’s investigation leads her to a ruthless and competitive CEO who had a motive for killing Canton, related to a personal connection from long ago. But the case the F.B.I. has built against DeMarco is airtight, and not a single piece of evidence points to the CEO. Using her cunning and her DC connections, Emma sets out to prove that the powerful businessman has been using some fixers of his own.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2019
Ebook: B07LB7LBGW
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
House Privilege

Fifteen-year-old Cassie Russell, the only daughter of a mega-rich Boston couple, is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed her parents. She’s also the goddaughter of the Speaker of the House, John Mahoney, who’s now her legal guardian. Normally, Mahoney would send his kind-hearted wife to deal with his new ward, but she’s unavailable—so he dispatches his fixer, Joe DeMarco, to make sure the girl’s okay.

DeMarco’s job is only to put things into a holding pattern until Mrs. Mahoney is able to step in—but DeMarco unintentionally flips over a rock and out from under it crawls a lawyer, the one managing Cassie’s vast estate. DeMarco learns the lawyer has been embezzling—and may have killed Cassie’s parents.

What should have been a simple assignment soon unleashes murderous plots involving a Boston mob boss and his thugs, and DeMarco ends up chasing the scheming lawyer halfway around the world to save Cassie and ensure that justice is done—though he may ignore some of the legal niceties.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-0802148483
Publisher: Grove Press
House Standoff

When someone close to him is shot dead in a roadside motel in a small Wyoming town, Joe DeMarco shirks his responsibilities as the Speaker of the House’s fixer to make sure the authorities are doing everything they can to catch the killer. He soon realizes that the rural area is dominated by Hiram Bunt, a wealthy rancher with an obstructionist streak who’s willing to take on the federal government at gunpoint and seems to have a number of politicians under his thumb. 

But Bunt isn’t the only one in the way. DeMarco also learns that his friend―a woman he was once in love with―had unearthed explosive secrets during her time in the backwoods, and that the deputy in charge of the investigation may be ignoring leads to preserve a secret of his own. 

Surrounded by people willing to kill to maintain the status quo, DeMarco launches his own investigation into a growing list of intertwining suspects. And being DeMarco, he concludes that breaking the law to uncover the truth is the best way to ensure that justice is done...

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-0802159823
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Alligator Alley

When Andie Moore, a 23-year-old working in the DOJ’s Inspector General’s Office, is murdered in cold blood in Florida’s Everglades, it falls on DeMarco to get to the bottom of things. Paired with Emma, an enigmatic, retired ex-spy with seemingly endless connections in the military and intelligence communities, they venture south to the scene of Andie’s murder: Alligator Alley.

DeMarco and Emma waste no time in identifying a two suspects—a pair of crooked, near-retirement FBI agents named McIntyre and McGruder. But as they keep digging, it becomes clear that these FBI agents weren’t acting alone, and that this goes much deeper than just the murder of an innocent 23-year old woman.

Author: Mike Lawson
First Release: 2023
Ebook: B0B52CQBY2
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press