Former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, now the mayor of Summerfield, has just published his first novel – one of international terrorism and intrigue set in Sunset Beach, North Carolina.   Barnes and his wife, Dena, have a vacation home at that beach, which is one of the former sheriff’s favorite places.

The book, a paperback titled “Sunrise at Sunset,” is available now on Amazon.

“It’s part of a trilogy,” Barnes said, adding that he’d had the project in mind for years. 

While sheriff, Barnes served on a joint anti-terrorism task force and he got top-secret clearance from the US government, so he has a good first-person view as to how terrorism rings operate. He said he can’t go into detail, but those operations can – in the real world – be found in unlikely places like Guilford County or Sunset Beach.

According to Barnes, the characters in the novel are based on people he knows – so an astute reader might be able to guess which real life Guilford County people match up with which characters. 

He said that the novel is written in the spirit of the Jack Reacher series of books and movies.  That very popular fictional character was created by author Lee Child.

Barnes has written a non-fiction book before – one based on his experiences over decades in law enforcement.  He served as an undercover officer and then became the sheriff of Guilford County – so he had a lot of experience to draw from. 

Barnes said he had this new book largely written by the end of his career as sheriff.  However, it was only after he left that job that he took time to get with publishing professionals and have the work copy edited.

The 228-page book will set you back $14.99.

“It’s an honest price,” Barnes said, adding that many books these days are priced way too high.

Will Hollywood be calling our former sheriff?  Only time will tell.

“I’m not sure who I want to play me in the movie,” Barnes said. “Tom Cruise is too short.”