The Inside Ring (DeMarco Series #1)

The Inside Ring, was selected by The Seattle Times as one of the ten top thrillers of 2005, received positive reviews in more than twenty publications, and is currently being published in ten countries. Publisher’s Weekly stated: “While Lawson’s debut may look like others in the genre, it’s in a league by itself.”

The book begins with an assassination attempt on the president. The president is wounded and his best friend and a Secret Service Agent are killed. General Andrew Banks, the Secretary of Homeland Security, received a note prior to the assassination attempt warning him that the president was in danger and that Secret Service agents guarding the president had been compromised. Immediately after the assassination attempt, a man claiming to be the assassin is found dead in his home.

General Banks is reluctant to tell the FBI about the warning note partly for self-serving political reasons and partly because he doesn’t want to damage the Secret Service’s reputation based on a note that might be a hoax. Banks requests help from his friend, House Speaker, John Mahoney, and Mahoney assigns his troubleshooter, DeMarco, to determine if the Secret Service was really involved in the assassination attempt. Mahoney’s motive for helping is not pure: the Director of the Secret Service is an old political enemy. (For more about the lead characters in my DeMarco books, see the “Behind the Books” section of this website.

The novel moves at a breakneck pace and has plenty of humor as well as suspense. It snakes through the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Secret Service, and ultimately leads back to one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century.

The New York Daily News:  The Inside Ring is thrilling enough to demand a sequel.

The Baltimore Sun: In two words … more please.

The Independent (United Kingdom): Lawson writes a mean thriller, and has a sense of humor that hurts. I loved this one.