cover image The House of Wolves

The House of Wolves

James Patterson and Mike Lupica. Little, Brown, $29 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-40429-7

Bestseller Patterson and Lupica’s fast-paced if faltering sequel to 2022’s The Horsewoman centers on the Wolf family, whose dominance of San Francisco is imperiled after patriarch Joe falls off his boat in San Francisco Bay and apparently drowns. The autopsy reveals both an elevated blood alcohol level and that Joe suffered a heart attack after entering the water. Given the number and power of Joe’s many enemies, his daughter, Jenny, suspects her father was murdered. Her pursuit of that possibility comes as her life undergoes a dramatic shift. Joe’s will leaves her in charge of his chief assets: the Wolves, an NFL franchise (whose aging star quarterback is Jenny’s ex-husband), and the Tribune newspaper. That rankles her two brothers, who’ve been running the team and the paper, respectively, and vow to resist her takeover by fighting dirty if necessary. More deaths follow as Jenny falls for someone she shouldn’t, wrestles with fulfilling her father’s wishes, and tries to find his killer while still coaching a high school football team. Readers should be prepared for predictable plot twists and superficial characters. Those expecting the nuances and depth of family business dramas such as HBO’s Succession will be disappointed. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Jan.)