Contemporary Adventure Thriller
Date Published: February 2015
Accidental Drowning has been optioned for a possible movie adaption by a Hollywood producer.
Bo Granger loses his job as the manager of a country club golf shop and turns to flying his private drone as a pastime.
Accidentally he captures video with his drone of a woman being murdered by drowning. Bo is torn over whether or not to turn his video over to authorities. He is afraid of reprisal by the person who owns the mansion where the drowning took place, and he worries that his invasion of privacy will derail his wife’s campaign to become governor of California as she is defined as a state legislator by her privacy platform.
Bo endures a series of misadventures as he wrestles with doing the right thing. He is nearly shot to death by a goon hired by the dead woman’s husband, he’s falsely charged with sexual assault by his wife’s housekeeper in a dirty politics scheme, and he gets involved in a torrid romance with a female newspaper reporter who is determined to get the story of a lifetime
The line of club members was out the door. Sequoia Country Club’s pro shop was under siege from filthy-rich golfers—club initiation fees recently topped three hundred thousand dollars—wanting the newly arrived, multicolored umbrellas. Part of the reason for the unusual customer demand was a steady rain that had swept across the peninsula in the early morning hours. Another was the genius of shop manager Bo Granger, who’d paid a meteorologist out of his own pocket for a long-range forecast the week before. Even though April was still considered the rainy season in the Bay Area, he’d gambled on a big storm hitting precisely on the morning of the club invitational, which boasted a field of 150 golfers. He’d ordered three-dozen of the splashy Leroy Neimanlike designer umbrellas that featured a well in the shaft suitable for housing airplane-sized bottles of booze. He’d been smart, too, in sending e-mail notices to all members announcing his upcoming rainy-day special. Bo figured the huge run on club merchandise was going to be a hit with his new general manager.
Bo had been with the club a little over four years. He’d felt secure enough in his position to warrant this bravado with the umbrellas. Even at a discounted seventy-five dollars a pop, he stood to rake in sales of $2,700 if he could unload three dozen. It was not yet nine thirty in the morning, and he’d sold twenty-four.
Bo was well regarded by the majority of the club’s 550 members, most of them Silicon Valley millionaires. In addition to being a shrewd buyer and mover of golf merchandise, he was very likeable. He had a way of making every club member who came into his shop feel special—especially the good-looking women. Healmost married one of the looking ones, Sally Anne Perkins. She was the daughter of a venture capitalist and had graduated a few years back from the prestigious Stevenson College in New Hampshire with a degree in “green anything.” During the time Bo dated her she didn’t workin fact she’d never had a job—didn’t need one with Daddy’s money. She mostly stayed at home and watched game shows. Despite her abundant free time, she didn’t volunteer much—the annual beach cleanup along the San Martin County coastline being the exception. After dating for a year and a half, they broke up. Sally Anne had caught Bo tossingmaterials into the garbage yet again. She took a picture of him in the act and posted it on Instagram with the tag, “Should I marry a man who’s this insensitive to our carbon footprint?” She received 547 responses saying no.
Bo got his name from his younger sister. She couldn’t say Robert—it came out Bobo—so his parents went with the abbreviation. Bo’s personality was pleasing. He’d been brought up by Elainea housewifeand Steven Grangera Walgreen’s pharmacist. “Pleasing people will get you further in life than any degree,” his father had preached. Life with Elaine and Steven was vanilla. Steven made him join the Boy Scouts; Elaine made him play the piano. The most childhood excitement Bo could remember was a road trip to LA where he and his sister, Bobbie, were treated to entire days at Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm.
Bo attended Lowell High School in San Francisco, where he failed to distinguish himself as either an exceptional student or athlete—although he did play number three on the golf team—but as a senior was voted Best Personality over a guy who went on to be a nationally recognized comedian.
Bo attended San Francisco State and got his BA in business in four years. It wasn’t until his junior year that he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. He played for State’s golf team and set his mind to becoming a PGA instructor after he graduated. He figured he could make a good living at it and be exposed to beautiful women who were eager for him to teach them the game. Part of that reasoning was fostered by his good looks. His dark, wavy hair, movie-star-like strong jawline, and penetrating hazel eyes had served him well with college co-eds. He’d left a trail of brokenhearted young girls behind him at State. One of his rejections was good-looking enough to land spots in two different national TV commercials. “I dated the Chick--A girl,” he was proud of saying.
Unfortunately, Bo never reached his goal of being a PGA-sanctioned teaching pro—three times he’d failed at putting together the requisite successive rounds of eighty-two or better. the golf world equivalent of “three strikes and you’re out.” His last opportunity to qualify was at the California Club in South San Francisco. Bo had carded an eighty and an eighty-two on his first two rounds. He was confident that he could post one more round under eighty-two—too confident. His premature celebration the night before his final round did him in. He wasn’t normally a cocktail drinker—he mostly stuck with beer—but the vodka gimlets he was offered by a fellow competitor’s caddy in the club’s bar went down way too easily and too often. By eight o’clock that evening, he had to be carried into the men’s locker room where club members constructed a bed out of bench pads and left him there to sleep it off. It didn’t help that Bo had an eight o’clock tee time in the morning. It was the three, two-hundred-yard twelfth hole that killed him. Sitting at seven over par through eleven holes, he was just three strokes under the dreaded eighty-two-stroke maximum.
Pete Liebengood is a retired TV sportscaster (KRON-TV San Francisco and a past play-by-play contributor to ESPN. He's authored two other novels, "Class of '62" and "Honeyball."