The prestigious Bellstone golf course and country club in Los Angeles, California has a storied and successful past and appears to have a thriving future. In Linda Sheehan’s novel Fore Play, the reader quickly learns that there is more to Bellstone than just the lush greens and rich clientele. When the lovely and talented Jody Benson returns to the club that her beloved grandfather founded, many secrets about the members begin to be revealed.
Fore Play begins with the story of member Mandy Manville, an aspiring golf pro with a love of plastic surgery, expensive golf clothes, men other than her husband and fast cars. Mandy is a polarizing figure from the start and when it is revealed that Jody, a former college pro and current Federal Wildlife Agent, wants to compete in the club championship, Mandy’s claws come out and she stops and nothing to prevent her from entering. The shady inner working of the club, under the management of the conniving president Newt Sizemore, range from gambling, money laundering, and illegal partnerships, even theft of wildlife and wine.
Jody watches as her grandfather’s club seems destined for disaster when all of the events and secrets of the club’s prominent members begin to see the light. From Jody’s unfaithful husband Derrick, to Jackson, a successful screenwriter moonlighting as a caddy to a priest with an honorary membership and a checkered past, Fore Play is full of a colorful cast of characters who all possess secrets and lies of their own. These secrets all begin to unravel – almost in unison- and the events that transpire are action packed and in some cases very deserving. The book is also full of a few happy endings and the next steps for every character are laid out and revealed.
Fore Play is fun, well-written and well-developed and each character possesses qualities that will make the reader love or hate them passionately. The novel is full of great villains, some of whom gain redemption and strong main characters, like Jody, that you can’t help but root for and love. The twists and turns that Linda Sheehan includes in her novel are engaging, exciting, sometimes dirty and completely delightful. This would be a fun summer beach read and is a good book to lose yourself in the problems of a country club cast for a few hours.
Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.wordpress.com.
Review copy was provided by Linda Sheehan.