The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco, #1)The Inside Ring by Mike Lawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Plot. Joe DeMarco, a guy in his late 30s, has a law degree but cannot find a job because he is the son of a deceased mafia hitman. Joe has never been involved with the mob in any way; he’s never even owned a gun. Joe gets a job working in the Capitol. Seems the Speaker of the House had an affair with Joe’s aunt and she calls in a favor. Joe is a decent guy, divorced, a bit of a horn dog, lazy, and would rather be playing golf. Speaker of the House John Mahone is a demanding alcoholic, a womanizer, as crooked as all politicians, feared by everyone who knows him – except his wife – a gal everyone adores. Mahone has a few redeeming traits, like a love of the veteran. There is another character of interest. Emma is a woman of high moral standards, a retired deep black ops gal that knows everyone and everything. She hates Mahone because she knows he’s a typically devious politician but treats Joe as an annoying younger brother.

The series consists of several full-length novels – each with a beginning – middle – end, meaning you don’t have to start with book one, The Inside Ring – but it will help with continuity. Bribing for votes, blackmail, dirty politicians and cops from the FBI to local police, heroic war veterans, and many good guys. From the basement of the capitol to alligator swamps, the series contains a wide range of plots. Narration is fine – Scott Brick does the first two books, Joe Barrett the remainder – no issues with either.

The Joe DeMarco Series is written by Michael Lawson, each book in the area of 10 hours of listening in unabridged audiobook format, released starting in 2005 through today by Random House and Blackstone Publishing.


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