The Wild Zone
Atria, Feb 23 2010, $25.00
Married Tom Whitman is in the Wild Zone in the South Beach section of Miami Beach with his friend Jeff Rydell and Jeff’s visiting half-brother, Princeton grad student Will. A few male bonding drinks later leads to the duo betting on whom has sex with the bartender Suzy Bigelow first. Flash tempered Jeff has his live-in lover Kristen who works at the bar talk with Suzy.
Suzy chooses to go out on a date with the safe one Will. However, though she seems cute and innocent, Suzy hides from her date that she has a nasty abusive husband Dave waiting for her as she sees the innocent one, his older sibling and their wild eyed friend as the answer to end her personal nightmare. Tom also has serious issues having been dishonorably discharged from the military after some incidents in the Afghan theatre; his wife Lainey knows what caused his issues but is so frightened of him she files for divorce and flees with their kids. Soon all will collide in a clash in the Wild Zone where each will soon learn the meaning of “proceed at your risk”.
This is a super Miami Beach thriller starring a strong ensemble cast with a great final twist. Each of the key players is fully developed to include their hidden agendas so that the audience understands their motives while wondering how a drunk-induced joke of a bet could turn so nasty. Joy Fielding is at her best with this impossible to put down tale.