The Wild Zone: A Novel

The Wild Zone - Joy Fielding Joy Fielding is a bestselling author, but for some reason this is the first book that I have read by her. Fielding explores what happens when a small bet turns into a big amount of trouble.

It all starts in a bar called The Wild Zone. Two brothers Will and Jeff, who don't know each other very well and couldn't be more different and Jeff's best friend Tom, are drinking having a good time and looking to have some fun. Enter Suzy, who has come into the Wild Zone a few times, but is looking for something more than just a random hook up, she is looking for someone anyone to help her escape from her abusive husband. But one bet by the men at the bar and everything is about to change for all of them Will, Jeff, Suzy and Tom all their lives are about to spiral out of control and not everyone can handle the ride.

As stated above, Fielding is a bestselling author, but judging by this book, I do not understand why, I was very disappointed with it. This is one of her newer books, therefore, I was expecting a lot more out of Fielding in regards to story and plot line. The main problem with this book is that Fielding attempts to do too much. Too many "main" characters, too many subplots, and not enough focus of the main issue that is introduced, getting Suzy away from her abusive husband. While the subplots were interesting, there were just too many of them for them to be fully developed, it almost felt like a mishmash of different ideas for novels rolled into one.

Where Fielding does excels is in character development, and while I did not like any of the characters within this novel, that does not mean that they were not well developed or well thought out. You got to know each character's personality and you knew how each was going to react in each situation. Personally, I found all the characters depressing, whiny and at times very immature. Each had a personal issue whether it was more recent or from the past, there appeared to be no light at the end of the tunnel for any of the characters. Even when the characters had something good going on in their life (however, these events are few and far between in this book) or their relationships grew into something that would have made other individuals happy none of the characters really get there. It almost felt that Fielding was punishing each of the characters in this book, that none of them could have a truly happy moment, as I stated above, the character were really depressing most of the time.

I will say that the villain within this book is quite scary and very human. He was the epitome of an abuser, manipulator and controller of his wife. I liked how Dave was a Doctor and took care of others, but at home his care for his wife was very lacking. Fielding did a good job on getting Dave just right and very scary real. I could hear this creepy voice in my head every time he spoke to Suzy.

I was disappointed in this book, it could have been so much more as I think that the premise had promise. I think that Fielding just attempted to do too much in this novel and lost her way some where. I am unsure if I will read another book by Fielding, maybe one of her earlier books that actually was a best seller. Let me know if you have great reads by Fielding that I should pick up.


Note: This book has some pretty descriptive scenes of Domestic Abuse, so please take caution with reading this novel.