Atlantic Monthly, Jul 5 2011, $23.00
Speaker of the House John Mahoney is in the hospital. However that does not mean his staffers enjoy a respite from their hard working, hard drinking and hard womanizing boss. For instance Mahoney’s top troubleshooter John DeMarco wants to play golf while the boss is out, but instead learns someone shot and killed his hospice nurse cousin, Paul Russo near the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Paul’s death is a shocker as he had no enemies as far as Demarco knew though he and his cousin were not very close. However, a second civilian is also assassinated. The national Security Agency thinks a rogue Pentagon cell is behind the murders. The NSA uses legal and other means to expedite the truth. Demarco soon finds himself targeted by the intelligence alpha soup groups from NSA to CIA to DSA to FBI and is caught in a security nightmare because he happens to be Russo’s cousin who works for the Speaker.
The super sixth DeMarco political thriller (see House Justice) is a fast-paced entry as the troubleshooter is in trouble from legalized shooters as someone must take the fall. Once DeMarco concludes the espionage alpha soup crowd has placed a scarlet letter on his chest, the story line soars and never takes a respite. Readers will relish this terrific entry as Mahoney is sidelined while DeMarco is marked.