The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

The House of Wolfe

by James Carlos Blake

A noir of the Texas-Mexico borderland, ideal for fans of Don Winslow and Kem Nunn, in which a young member of the family is kidnapped at a wedding in Mexico City, and her relatives must band together to rescue her.

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 256
  • Publication Date March 08, 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2474-6
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $14.00

About The Book

On a rainy winter night in Mexico City, a ten-member wedding party is kidnapped in front of the groom’s family mansion. The perpetrator is a small-time gangster named El Galán, who wants nothing more than to make his crew part of a major cartel and hopes that this crime will be his big break. He sets the wedding party’s ransom at five million U.S. dollars, to be paid within twenty-four hours. The only captive not related to either the bride or the groom is the young Jessica Juliet Wolfe, a close friend of the bride. Jessie hails from a family of notorious outlaws that has branches on both sides of the border, and when the Wolfes learn of Jessie’s abduction, they fear that the kidnappers will kill the captives after receiving the ransom–unless they rescue Jessie first.

Gritty and exhilarating, The House of Wolfe takes readers on a wild ride from Mexico City’s opulent neighborhoods to its frenetic downtown streets and feral shantytowns, as El Galán proves how dangerous it is to underestimate an ambitious criminal, and Jessie’s blood kin desperately try to find her before it’s too late.


“Masterly. . . . Blake convincingly portrays modern-day Mexico City as a beautiful and surreal landscape. . . . As always, the writing is both poetic and visceral, and the mostly present-tense narrative keeps the reader engaged as the action rushes toward a surprising and fully satisfying conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

“Blake has an unerring sense of control, and—though Elmore Leonard and Cormac McCarthy are lurking in the book’s DNA—a distinctive voice . . . The House of Wolfe is a pungent and exhilarating read.” —Barry Forshaw, Financial Times

“A writer with as many fine and wonderful skills as those possessed by James Carlos Blake should be well-known and embraced. He has for a long time now been delivering novels set in the recent and less recent American past, thrilling stories of great power and insight, and with The House of Wolfe he brings all those same qualities to a novel of the harrowing present down along the border.” —Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone

“Following his terrific The Rules of Wolfe, Blake offers another tale about the sprawling family of outlaws with interests on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border. . . . Blake excels at ensemble pieces and plays to his strengths here. Like a director with a small army of camera teams at his disposal, he wheels from one location to another, racking the focus with such intensity that, at any moment, the story you’re in feels like the only story there is until he cuts away again. A hard-edged, fast-moving thriller that will hold you attention hostage—good luck getting away.” —Keir Graff, Booklist (starred review)

“Blake is often compared to William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy, and he is considered a man’s writer . . . but in this book the heroes are women . . . The space Blake makes for a range of women makes me want more of these Border Noirs . . . Blake innovates within Noir norms, and I want him to keep doing just that, through every Wolfe generation.” —Erin Stalcup, Southwestern American Literature

“Blake delivers a thriller that hits all the right spots and hits them hard.” —Robert C. Hahn, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

“Without a wasted word, Blake captures the action with a poet’s voice as he describes the beauty and waste of modern Mexico City. A perfect pick for those who prefer their thrillers without borders.” —Vicki Ann Duraine, Arizona Daily Star

“James Carlos Blake is a master of the nail-biting thriller and the literary novel. The promise of his early work comes to full maturity in The House of Wolfe, a story as contemporary as a CNN soundbite and as old as human conflict itself, with a climax that howls with the triumph of the primitive.” —Loren D. Estleman, author of You Know Who Killed Me

“James Carlos Blake . . . makes this thriller very real using multiple points of view and gritty details that sometimes even teeter on the edge of the poetic, and that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged and believing . . . Blake also does a masterful job of creating place by providing telling details of sights and smells that put the reader right in the cantinas, cafes, and slums of South Texas and Mexico City.” —Reviewing the Evidence

“James Carlos Blake seems set on establishing a literary Wolfe family dynasty with his newly released work . . . It’s not just the story that Blake tells; it’s the unflinching beauty with which he tells it that makes this series an addiction . . . This is masterful writing from beginning to end, so good that it will set your teeth on edge in the best of ways . . . A dark and violent novel about the three things that matter most: love, family and loyalty.” —Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter

“A fast-paced thriller that you just won’t want to put down. Each chapter is laid with such heart-stopping action that even when the climax comes, you will realize you’ve been holding your breath for hours. . . . Raw, unbridled suspense . . . A must-read for anyone who likes reading edgy, suspenseful fiction.” —Jonathan W. Thurston, Killer Nashville

“James Carlos Blake has long been one of my favorites, but his Wolfe family saga may be his best work to date. His latest, a complex kidnapping tale, brings to mind Faulkner’s storytelling in As I Lay Dying with the grittiness and realism of Cormac McCarthy’s border tales. Brilliant and uncompromising, Blake again proves why he’s one of the best writers working today.” —Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Forsaken and The Redeemers

“The laws of nations are thinnest at the edges, and Blake’s story throws a spotlight on those outliers who have chosen their own codes over any others. This fast-paced, well-plotted thriller reads like a mix of Cormac McCarthy and Elmore Leonard.” —Dan Forrest, Library Journal