The story opens in The Wild Zone, a bar in South Miami, Florida where Kristin works as a bartender. Three men are sitting there enjoying a few drinks together: twin brothers, Jeff and Will Rydell, and their friend Tom. Will is a Harvard Graduate in Philosophy waiting to complete his dissertation. Kristin and Jeff have been living together for the past year.
Jeff and Tom have been best friends since high school, they enlisted in the army together and did several tours in Afghanistan. Jeff came home a decorated hero and Tom came back disgraced having been dishonourably discharged for an unprovoked assault on an innocent civilian. Neither Jeff nor Tom ever talked about it.
Will and Jeff hadn't seen each other in the nearly two decades Tom and Jeff were friends. Will had been nothing but a pain in Jeff's backside and they weren't real brothers, only step-brothers. They had the same father but different mothers. Ten days ago, Will showed up on Jeff's doorstep and since then it's been nothing but: "little brother this, little brother that." Secretly, Jeff wished Will would just pack his bags and head back to Princeton.
Sitting in the The Wild Zone bar together, the 3 men notice a beautiful woman sitting there alone drinking pomegranate martinis. They each bet $100.00 bucks that this mystery woman was going home on one of their arms. Kristin, Jeff's girlfriend, offers to chat with the woman first to see if she can at least get her first name. Kristin heads off to the woman's table, returns and reports to the guys that her name is Suzy, she recently moved to South Miami from Fort Myers and told Kristin she'd go home with Will. Needless to say, Jeff and Tom were not at all happy about the outcome.
Suzy Bigelow and Will chatted briefly over a drink before leaving the bar together. Tom was royally ticked that little Miss Suzy hadn't picked him and decided to follow them out of the bar just seething in anger! He spotted them, lost them, and wondered if they'd detected him and were now watching what HE was doing, after all he was dead drunk. Tom thought he'd show them a thing or two if they were hiding and watching him and pulled out a small hand gun from behind the silver buckle on his leather belt and hid it in his shirt.
Suddenly, Tom spots them again, follows them along the beach to an all-night movie theatre. They only last an hour watching the movie when Tom heard Suzy say: "That was too violent for me." Tom followed them back to Suzy's car where she quickly kissed Will goodnight and drove off.
Tom decided to follow Suzy in his car, although he knew his wife, Lainey, would be waiting at home for him at this late hour mad as a wet hen. But, too drunk, Tom didn't care. Finally Suzy pulled into a garage outside a house in a very exclusive neighourhood at 121 Tallahassee Drive. Unbeknownst to Tom (who is very drunk and puking outside the door of his car), waiting at the door is Dave, Dr. Dave Bigelow, Suzy's notoriously heavy-handed, abusive husband and he will treat Suzy no differently that night. Stunned and feeling sorry for Suzy, Tom heads back to find the guys and tell them what he's discovered about their beautiful mystery woman but Suzy isn't as naive as she seems. "And she has an agenda of her own. Soon another challenge is born only this one proves to be lethal. With its dark secrets, hidden passions and a story filled with intrigue, THE WILD ZONE will keep you in suspense until the very last page is turned.
May 10, 2011