House Rules

A Joe DeMarco Thriller
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Series: The Joe DeMarco Series, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (175 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In House Rules, two foiled terrorist attacks and a law targeting Muslim Americans send Joe DeMarco on a dangerous mission among mobsters, meth dealers, and the Washington political elite.

First there was the bomb meant for the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel; then a private plane headed straight for the White House is shot down. An atmosphere of fear and panic overruns the country, and when a senator proposes to run extensive background checks on all Muslims and deport any who aren’t citizens, his bill gains surprising traction.

,p>John Mahoney, the larger-than-life Speaker of the House, is not pleased. But Mahoney has a connection to one of the attackers, one he wants kept a secret. So he calls DeMarco, who attempts to get to the bottom of the attacks and to pacify his difficult yet charismatic boss in this riveting installment in the series.

Take another thrill ride with Joe DeMarco.
©2008 Mike Lawson (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Full of insider information, this novel reinforces Lawson's place in the upper rank of Washington thriller specialists.” ( Publishers Weekly)
“Lawson fleshes out his characters while developing a plausible and increasingly tense plot. Just enough uncertainty in the satisfying conclusion hints that another series entry is likely. Highly recommended.” ( Library Journal)
“A pleasantly relaxed thriller well suited to leftish political junkies.” ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Revenge, Greed, and Long Range Payback

I have listened to this series out of order, so beware, author is a good one as shown in this novel. I had skipped around based on publishers summary and looked for strong Mahoney character in the stories. Now with this story, I got more of the famous Emma character which does not always tend to be in author’s later works. Author refines his dialogue in later books and in this early work, author has a multitude of characters which you have to pay much more attention to keep track of who and what they do. I am slowly buying up authors earlier DeMarco novels. They show the author’s progression in his story telling writing style. Frankly, now I can really appreciate this earlier novels due to the refinement of the later novels I listen to first.
If you like to see an author bloom in their writings skills, then listen in order. I did not, and I do not regret it as I may not have have stuck to this series.
I found this series due to my new fave narrator, Joe Barrett. Do not miss Brian Haig’s, Sean Drummond series. Joe Barrett makes you howl with his interpretation of our hero. My fave Private Sector and the CIA joke.
I do listen at 1.25x speed to match the action. Give it a try.
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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS SERIES

Would you listen to House Rules again? Why?

Yes, I would and I have listened to the other "house" books several times. They are pure entertainement. I have either used my credits or purchased evey book in this series.

What other book might you compare House Rules to and why?

Brian Haig has a series with a character that is similar to DeMarco and is also very entertaining.

Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, the narrator does an excellent job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I usually come close to listening in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

I hope Mike Lawson keeps this DeMarco series coming. I have this let down feeling when his books end I want them to keep going.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Second book as good as the first!

Would you listen to House Rules again? Why?

Yes! I really liked this book, too. I plan to work my way through the entire series. There are books that you can listen to again and again and I think that this might be one of them.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Well, I did stay up late in order to finish the book....

Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, this was the first time that I had listened to Joe Barett. Scott Brick narrated the first book of the series, and I was hoping he would complete the series, but I enjoyed the narration enough to purchase the third book in the series. There are books that I won't listen to, although I love the author, because I don't like the narrator.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. Laughed at Emma quite often....defintely a woman who knows how to get her own way.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Mike Lawson a no lose author for me!

Jo DeMarco series - yay! Interesting/exciting/more! The characters/locations - love the all of it. Joe Barrett did a great job narration .



2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Scarey how our government really works

Good narrator, good plot. Of course its fiction, but I think this is really how cynical we have to be about Washington

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Terrorist's from US and non-US

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The time spent listening to this book was an okay listen. The narrator did not do a very good job as far as my evaluation. The narration seemed to slow down the book. I had a difficult time listening to the book but I did finish. It's the third book in the Joe DeMarco Thriller series and I had listened to the first two. Therefore, I wanted to continue listening to the series in the order established.

If you’ve listened to books by Mike Lawson before, how does this one compare?

Yes, I have listened to books by Mike Lawson before. I read the previous two books in the series. Scott Brick was the narrator for those books and Joe Barrett narrated the third book. I would have enjoyed the book more if the narrator had stayed the same. However, the fast pace, action and excitement in House Rules was not evident as it was in the previous two books. The story didn't contain enough suspense for me.

What didn’t you like about Joe Barrett’s performance?

Joe Barrett's performance was not good. His interpretation of the character's did not provide a voice that was character appropriate. He attempted to provide different accents for the character's. However, these accents were not consistent. Joe Barrett did not make his narration exciting. Thus, the story as narrated by Joe Barrett was dull. His interpretation of a female voice was lacking. Overall, my theory is that if Scott Brick had narrated this book, I would have given the book a better rating.

Could you see House Rules being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No, I don't think House Rules should be made into a movie or a TV series.

Any additional comments?

The remainder of the books in the series are narrated by Joe Barrett. I will try the fourth book but I'm not going to put it as the next book I purchase. Maybe the narrator will improve with the next book, I surely hope so. I do agree with the author that terrorism is a fact in the world of today. I have read various books concerning terrorism and maybe that has slanted my view on the quality of this book. There was no text in the book that emulated any necessary research. Terrorism is as terrorism is, was what I took away from reading this book. I am not being fair and I don't judge the author. His story was a comparison and contrast of two forms of terrorism. With this in mind, read the story and enjoy it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Consistently great storytelling

What made the experience of listening to House Rules the most enjoyable?

Mike Lawson consistently tells a compelling story that doesn't require ridiculous leaps of faith on the part of the reader and believable, likable characters.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Narrator is dry and monotone for my tastes.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of my favorites.

Fortunately the narrator did a great job - wish the author had done the same.