Melissa Maerz
March 01, 2012 AT 05:00 AM EST

Lone Wolf

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jodi Picoult
publisher
Atria
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B-

Does Jodi Picoult like to torture children? In her books, they get abused, mortally wounded, or diagnosed with cancer. So maybe it’s karma that this time the kids are all right — it’s their dad who’s doomed. Lone Wolf follows Luke Warren, who abandons his family to live among wolves. When a car accident leaves him comatose, his son Edward wants the hospital to terminate life support, but his daughter Cara doesn’t. Each sibling has a secret reason for feeling this way, and the slow reveal of their motives creates real suspense. Sadly, Lone Wolf‘s theme — Can humans protect their clans as wolves do? — is far more compelling than its characters, who seem like they’re just illustrating a health-care debate. By the end, you might want Luke to die, just to feel something for Cara. B-

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