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The Wild Zone    by Joy Fielding order for
Wild Zone
by Joy Fielding
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

South Beach, Miami, home to the beautiful and the well to do. A popular tourist destination that comes alive when the sun goes down. Many of the bars and restaurants are meeting places for the locals, who like to feel they are part of the happening scene.

One such bar is The Wild Zone, where brothers Jeff and Will meet with Jeff's childhood friend Tom for a few drinks and some male bonding. They notice a young, attractive woman, drinking alone and Jeff puts forth a challenge. Which of the three men would be the first to buy her a drink and seduce her? Jeff assumes that, with his good looks and charm, he will succeed. Will, being shy and laid back, is doubting his own ability to get to first base. Tom believes if he cannot win her over, he can always use force to get his way. But Suzy, the attractive stranger, is not as innocent as she looks, and she has her own dark plans.

Jeff Rydell is a personal trainer at a local club. He is estranged from his family in Buffalo, after having been abandoned by his mother at a young age. Now he has commitment issues with women and feels disconnected. His younger, half brother Will has come to visit and get to know the elusive older brother to whom he looks up. Jeff is currently living with Kristin, the bartender at The Wild Zone. They have an open relationship, not questioning each other. Tom Whiteman has been dishonorably discharged from the army after raping a fourteen year old girl in Afghanistan. Now his wife is divorcing him and he has been served with a restraining order. His life is on a downward spiral and with his bouts of rage and continuous drinking and drugs, he has serious problems.

When Suzy chooses Will over the two older friends, she sets off a series of events that play out over the next few days. She tells the men about her abusive husband and the beatings she gets. She states no one will believe her well known, well respected, doctor husband, could be capable of such things. Suzy pits brother against brother, friend against friend, innocently suggesting her husband should be killed. Who will step up to the challenge? The Wild Zone is a fast paced thriller with plenty of twists - it leaves you guessing until the surprise ending.

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