Fritz Agency
Published by
The Mysterious Press (March 2015)
Current material
Final PDF
Thriller / suspense fiction


A Border Noir

by Blake, James Carlos

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 US dollars, to be paid in cash within 24 hours.

The only captive not related to either the bride or the groom is the young Jessica Juliet Wolfe, a bridesmaid and 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.

James Carlos Blake is the author of twelve novels and numerous short stories. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and a recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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Fritz Agency
Christian Dittus

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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 soundbyte and as old as human conflict itself, with a climax that howls with the triumph of the primitive. - Loren D. Estleman

Quote: Blurb

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

Quote: Blurb

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.

Review: Library Journal

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 your attention hostage—good luck getting away. (starred review)

Review: Booklist

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. (starred and boxed review)

Review: Publishers Weekly

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

Quote: Blurb

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