A lawyer who has foresworn love forever. His heartbroken friend, who is no friend, whipped and drifting into sadomasochistic oblivion. The Key West trial that may or may not be real, looming in the drunken penumbra. The government investigator, blonde, beautiful, and hell-bent on annihilation. The beastly client, who might just want to kill everyone involved.
These are the threads threatening to bind Jim Hawthorne, but Jim is determined to preempt them all, and begins the systematic unraveling of his life. Beset by compulsive fantasies and all-consuming distractions, Jim embarks on a harrowing drive into the steamy bath of Key West. The pretext is the trial Jim must defend for his wreck of a client, but Jim is impelled by other desires. In a world where alcohol never stops flowing, and streets teem with burned out tourists, bizarre Conchs, and sex-addicted Hemingway look-alikes, Jim is pulled toward a deviance he cannot fathom. With his case circling the drain, obsessions run wild, and desperate plots hatch in the least likely places, from the southernmost city on the continent to the Dry Tortugas, a remote outpost far west in the Atlantic, where never-fired canons coldly aim out to sea. Here is the rollicking, hilarious debut of Joe Z King, a novel about the unstoppable waves of infatuation that forever drive us WEST, toward an ever-retreating destination far from our most basic ideas of order.