“Nick, are you all right?” Minnie asked, placing a loving hand upon his arm. “You look pale.”
“No, Ma, I’m fine,” Nick said, trying to suppress his fear of Riko hurting the people he loved. Yet, Riko could sink even lower by hurting him in front of his parents, making them witness their son’s demise. Either way, Riko would destroy Nick.
My name is Anita Wright. I am the author of CALLAHAN—a crime fiction novel. As with all fiction, the names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are all imaginary or used in a fictitious manner.
CALLAHAN is the name of the town in which the story takes place. It is the sole town in Boyd County about sixty miles from San Antonio, Texas. The exact location isn’t mentioned; however, there are other towns such as, Edgemont, which is in Virginia, and McAfee and Callahan, which are in Texas. All of the towns are fictitious, and all are placed on their designated spots from east to west. Reference is made to the scorching hot temperatures, putting the town further south. That being said, you would find Callahan, somewhere southwest of San Antonio.
As with most small towns, communities are close-knit. Friendships are based on familiarity, either through doing business together, running into the same faces while picking out fresh produce at Hale’s Grocery Store, or attending a monthly town hall meeting. Outsiders are kept at arms-length and are not easily trusted. This fact becomes more relevant as the story progresses.
CALLAHAN is written from the perspective of the main character, Nick Moran. Nick is a sheriff and a divorced father of a 17-year old boy named Chase and a 6-year old girl named Allyssa, or Ally for short.
Throughout the first few chapters, Nick’s ex-wife, Susan, and her reason for leaving are mentioned. Judging by Nick’s brooding, you get the impression that Susan’s decision to leave was abrupt and unexpected. As a result, Nick struggles to raise his children to be good-natured and well adjusted even though he finds it hard to be that way himself.
Keeping up the facade that he can handle the pressures of being sheriff while at the same time provide a stable home for his children is an issue for Nick. Some days, he can pull it off. But other days, he finds himself muddling his way through self-pity and frustration, the result of his life without Susan.
In addition to Nick’s children, there are Nick’s parents, George and Minnie, his younger brother, Military Officer David Moran, and youngest sister, Lani Moran, a newly engaged college student, who lives in Stanley, Texas—a few miles outside of Boyd County.
Nick usually goes into defense mode when it comes to George’s unwanted advice and brusque opinions regarding Nick’s parenting. George Moran is described as the stern man who used to reprimand Nick as a boy, prompting Nick to refers to his father as sir.
Nick once vowed that he and his son would be closer. Knowing that Chase blames him for the reason his mother left, Nick tries harder to bridge the gap between them. But for all of his effort, Nick knows that he respects his dad more than Chase respects him.
At one point, Nick, being a decent, law-abiding man, considered it an honor or a compliment to his character to be elected sheriff. After years of traffic violations, court appearances, domestic disturbances, and breaking up bar fights, he thought someone else would step in and help out. Unfortunately for him, no one did.
Our story opens when Nick learns that an alarming piece of evidence was discovered by firefighters in the debris of an abandoned house. When the fire chief, Martin Hayley, confirms that the cause of the fire is arson, Nick can’t help but wonder what this means for Callahan. His concerns escalate when a United States government agent named Michellin Stone arrives with news that she is sent to investigate the case.
Michellin is described as “an auburn-haired woman clad in a crisp white blouse underneath a navy blue suit tailored to accentuate her slender yet shapely curves.” Nick assumes that she is in her early to mid-thirties, which would make her several years younger than himself.
She introduces herself as Agent Michellin Stone with the Special Investigations Division of the United States Treasury Department. She proceeds to tell Nick, “Our division answers to the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, who answers to the Secretary of the Treasury, who in turns answers to the President.” Unimpressed by Michellin’s professional confidence, Nick sarcastically thanks her for the chain of command.
In Nick’s ten years as sheriff, he had investigated cases before, but never one with so many layers of conspiracy as this. When Michellin—the noticeably attractive outsider suggests that they team up—Nick’s stubborn pride forces him to wonder whether it’s better to accept her help or continue to inch his way through the investigation on his own. The problem is, her very presence is becoming a distraction for reasons he can’t admit. Something has to give.
CALLAHAN is available in ebook and paperback on Amazon Kindle. Click on the link below to preview or buy CALLAHAN.