Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the suburbs, Fielding turns up the heat again in this latest nightmarish Diary of a Mad Housewife. Kate Sinclair isn't really mad, of course, but she may be the only one in Palm Beach who isn't. The clients she sees every day for family therapy are troubled and confused, and some of them--like Donna Lokash, whose daughter Amy has been missing for over a year--are far worse. Kate's mother, it's painfully obvious, is sinking into Alzheimer's. Her teenagad daughter Sara may not be crazy, but her lying and smoking and sneaking around seem calculated to drive her mother mad. Kate's husband Larry, who ought to be helping support her through midlife hot flashes and polyps and cancer scares, is withdrawing into his golf game just when Kate's old boyfriend Robert Crowe has turned up again, clearly determined to consummate the romance he ended in high school when Kate wouldn't come across. But it's the flamboyant Jo-Lynn Baker, Kate's half-sister, who opens the gate to the real nightmare when she announces to Kate that she's in love with Colin Friendly, the smiling sociopath accused of killing 13 women. As in her earlier soccer-mom chillers (Don't Cry Now, 1995, etc.), Fielding cunningly plays on Kate's most homely fears and fantasies--she dreams of wild trysts with Robert, of a better sex life with Larry, of getting along with Sara without wanting to hit her--just at the point that they're shading into florid melodrama, so that when Kate wishes that she could be 17 again, you can see just how poignant and terrifying a Pandora's box that wish can be. Anybody who's ever been afraid of going gray or flabby, losing her looks or her husband, or rattling the skeletons in the family closet will be hopelessly hooked.