cover image Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

Mike Lawson. Atlantic Monthly, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-6052-2

The murder of 23-year-old Andie Moore, a Department of Justice employee, propels Edgar finalist Lawson’s outstanding 16th thriller featuring Joe DeMarco, bagman and fixer for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Mahoney (after 2021’s House Standoff). Andie’s boss at the DOJ, Henry Cantor, asks Mahoney for DeMarco and retired DIA agent Emma, the “most enigmatic, secretive person Mahoney had ever known,” to investigate, because he thinks Andie was killed by an FBI agent, thus making an FBI investigation questionable. Cantor is almost right, except it was two FBI agents who were the culprits, as revealed in an early chapter in which Andie is shot to death in her car while parked on the Everglades Parkway (aka Alligator Alley). DeMarco and Emma travel to the Everglades, where they follow a long and twisting trail to the truth. Along the way, the tension rises as the path to justice is almost derailed several times. Assured prose matches the two capable protagonists: the crafty DeMarco and the relentless, brilliant Emma. This is perhaps Lawson’s best in the series to date. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Feb.)