First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mike Lawson, and Grove Atlantic for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
Mike Lawson returns with another stellar Joe DeMarco novel, allowing the ‘Bagman of Congress’ to expand his investigative wings down in the Florida Everglades. Lawson provides his protagonist with a difficultly case, trying partner, and intense moments of action throughout, sure to impress the reader. Lawson provides an entertaining backdrop in this sixteenth novel in the series, proving that the DeMarco momentum has not waned one iota.
After a young employee of the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office is found murdered in the Florida Everglades, suspicion surrounding her murderer is high. Young Andie Moore had been following two FBI agents who were tasked with investigating Medicare fraud, but the case had gone sideways for no apparent reason. When Joe Demarco, a bagman for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, is sent to Florida to look into it, things take an interesting turn. DeMarco is not alone and his partner is surely not someone who enjoys taking second chair.
Working alongside the gritty Emma, DeMarco helps to explore the FBI agent angle, though these two are as tight lipped as they come. Still, Demarco and Emma think that there’s more to the story than simply two buffoons wanting their payday for screwing up the case. Emma has contacts all her own and calls on them to help with some of the digital and forensic know-how, which opens new perspectives. Trolling the crime scene in the Everglades, known to locals as Alligator Alley, Emma and DeMarco find some key evidence that shows that the kickback plot is a little more complex than first presumed.
With the apparent leader of the group proves elusive, DeMarco and Emma will have to work quickly and diligently to nail down the killer and ensure that Andie Moore did not die in vain. DeMarco will discover a few new things about himself and how to work alongside the rigid Emma, who has little time for any of his shenanigans. Mike Lawson keeps things strong and uses his abilities to impress the reader once more.
Since discovering the work of Mike Lawson, I have never failed to be impressed by all he adds to his stories to keep them on point. While the political aspect is secondary, it offers some interesting backstory to the larger narrative. Lawson has a great writing style and keeps his pieces moving at a quick pace, entertaining the reader from the opening pages.
With a strong narrative that does not rest for a moment, Mike Lawson lures the reader in from the opening pages. Strong criminal storylines provide something intriguing for the reader, while adding some humour at just the right moments. Great characters who add their own flavouring help Lawson move the story along with ease. A few plot lines fuel the story’s underlying greatness without impacting the momentum the narrative offers. While DeMarco is never doing the same thing, the continuity is there and series fans can be assured of a stellar piece of writing. Lawson is to be applauded and I am eager to see where things are headed next.
Kudos, Mr. Lawson, for a wonderful addition to the series, You never fail to impress.