Casey McGregor is going to do something awful. He just doesn’t know it yet.
No one does.
Because in Oregon’s sleepy capitol of Salem, life proceeds according to small town traditions and nothing too wonderful or terrible happens very often. People go to church, mind each other’s business and try to give others every reason not to mind theirs…
But that’s all about to change when someone starts killing cats in one of Cherry City’s oldest neighborhoods, not far from North Salem High School.
Young attorney Courtney Lawson is on the case, riding along with the local police to help them gather evidence when she runs across Casey: a bullied sophomore who plays video games to escape reality and his abusive, alcoholic father.
In the meantime, star MLB shortstop and womanizer Hunter Foxx is returning home for the offseason and senior Destiny Smotherman has just scored her first fake ID; it’s only a matter of time before their fireworks become Salem’s biggest scandal.
Amidst it all is Mr. Scott, Casey and Destiny’s high school English teacher, who becomes embroiled in a battle with the administration over disciplinary issues and a growing culture of sexual harassment at North Salem High School.
Jeff Allen’s powerful debut novel is a deep dive into the complexities and problems of modern society, rife with social commentary and satire. As the story unfolds against the backdrop of Cherry City, with forays into Willamette Valley Wine Country, Portland, and the Oregon Coast, our characters’ stories become increasingly intertwined, stakes are raised, and the all too common specter of gun violence raises it’s ugly head.
The only question: will anyone be in time to stop it?