I suppose you could say a novel that takes place in a small town with only one sheriff and a deputy is unrealistic. However, when you consider the possible criminal activity that could occur in such a town, you might find yourself more intrigued.
Callahan was once a quiet place to grow up, get married, raise your children, and conduct business with people you knew and trusted. With a population of less than 2,000, most citizens were happy with Nick Moran serving as sheriff and keeping them on the straight and narrow.
If you were to take a stroll through the main parts of town, you would find the following establishments:
Sadie’s Bar & Grill
A close-knit family-owned restaurant known for its tender, juicy steaks, good company, and fast, friendly service from waitresses like Tammy, who knows what you want when you say, “I’ll have my usual.”
Subs & Munch
The corner café—just down the street from the sheriff’s station—is where Nick grabs a turkey on rye and a large ice tea to bring back to the station for lunch. He usually opts for turkey when he isn’t indulging his hungry appetite with the baked ziti and garlic Italian bread creation his secretary, Myra, brings him from home.
This Mexican restaurant is Chase and Ally Moran’s first pick for dinner hands down with their all-you-can-eat large beefy tacos topped with all the fixings and extra spicy salsa.
Hale’s Grocery Store
Not only is Hale’s a well-kept place of employment, but Hale Dietrich, the owner, takes pride in selling only the leanest cuts of meats and the freshest produce all at a reasonably low price.
Murphy’s Barber Shop
Murphy O’Dell keeps the men of Callahan well-groomed with his clipping skills. Not only that, he happens to be George Moran’s—Nick’s father—trusted source for up-to-the-minute gossip regarding the good folks of Callahan.
Zeb’s Shoe Repair
Zeb (a common name in Callahan) is quite handy when it comes to alterations and shoe repair. He’s located about a block away from Sadie’s Bar & Grill and gets a fair amount of traffic despite the “No Parking” sign located right out front of his shop.
Callahan Youth Center
This center was Nick’s spur-of-the-moment idea for giving the youth of Callahan something productive to do. Thanks to his ties to Mayor Kyle Stuart, Nick was able to get the center opened with the help of Chase and most of Chase’s friends.
Callahan Town Hall
The citizens gather here on the first Tuesday of each month to complain about taxes, elect new officials, and sign up volunteers for events such as plays, parades, and picnics.
Zebediah Callahan Park
This park—aptly named after the town founder Zebediah Callahan—is where families gather for all outdoor festivities, including their much-loved softball games.
Aggravation began to burn within Nick’s chest as he thought about how his work had managed to rip his family apart. He scolded himself for not thinking that something like this would happen sooner or later. After all, it had been ten years of nothing but traffic violations, petty thefts here and there, and some boring court appearances. He should have known that it couldn’t have lasted much longer. For when the brunt of the work finally fell on his shoulders, it came down hard without warning.
The brunt of the work, in this case, was the criminal element that made itself known to Nick after he answered a call from emergency dispatch regarding a burning house, of which he later discovered was an act of arson.
What happens next leads to the criminals who arrive and loosen the fibers of the very town Nick and the other citizens have grown to love.