Dark Deeds in D.C.

Dark Deeds in D.C.

House Blood by Mike Lawson, Books, Novels, Washington DC, CrimeIn Washington D.C. it seems the beautiful public buildings and historic monuments are always concealing more sinister goings on, within the crime novels of Mike Lawson that is.

Wanting to set a novel amongst the “target-rich environment” of the city, Lawson has recently published his seventh book in the capital House Blood, stating “When I started writing, the very first decision I made was, I wanted the book set in D.C…. before I had a character, or anything else.”

Drawing inspiration from the city, Lawson acknowledges “There’s always something going on here — something corrupt or silly or sometimes heroic.”

Lawson’s lead character, Joe DeMarco works for the speaker of the House, shrouded in corruption, he does simply, what needs to be done. Incorporating Washington’s all-too-familiar landmarks into the story, enables a sense of realness that the reader can engage with. For instance, in the novel House Secrets, Lawson uses the entrance to a Senate office building as the place of an assassination attempt. Note the word ‘attempt’, the charismatic senator survives the ordeal, even though he is in fact the baddie.

Needing to engage in his surroundings to be able to truly write, Lawson placed DeMarco’s office in the depths of the Senate office, a real-life janitor’s cupboard, and goes there to feel inspired. Of course, post 9/11, special passes are needed to access it, although first time around he simply stepped over the velvet ropes and explored.

Essentially fixing the problems the speaker doesn’t want on the books, DeMarco’s assignments are often reality-based, relating to big businesses taking advantage of drug-testing in the developing world for instance.

Keeping where DeMarco dines real and visiting the monuments to accurately play out the scenes in his head means Lawson can provide readers with an accuracy they appreciate and start to believe in. Creating thrillers that Washingtonians are entertained by instead of exasperated with.

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