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."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-25
- Reviewer: Staff
In the prologue of Lawson’s workmanlike 10th Joe DeMarco thriller (after 2014’s House Reckoning), three men assault Sarah Johnson, a muckraking blogger who’s trying to expose corruption in Montana and North and South Dakota, late one night behind a restaurant. One of her attackers delivers a chilling warning—next time “we’ll tie you naked to a tree and leave you for the wolves”—before letting her go. Wealthy Leonard Curtis, an independent natural gas driller, has set his dogs on Sarah: a pair of down-market fixers, Marjorie Dawkins and Bill Logan, who hired the assailants. Sarah’s grandfather calls on an old friend for help, House Minority Leader John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, who’s DeMarco’s employer and “as corrupt as any congressman on Capitol Hill.” Sent west to deal with the problem, DeMarco comes to admire Sarah’s resolve and crusade. This is a decent, though familiar, story—the individual pitted against big business and the state—and Lawson spells out every plot point and emotion along the way. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (July)