Who told Rev. Joshua Evans he could outsmart big-city political machines? Monday through Friday, Joshua Evans drives a garbage truck for the city of Houston. On Sunday, he ministers to a small church in a neglected part of Houston known as Davey Wilson Road. Joshua has a lifelong friend named Stan, a former Houston cop who now runs a trailer park on Davey Wilson Road. Foster, a "downtown lawyer," takes ownership of property adjacent to the trailer park. The three very different characters form a trusting bond of friendship.
Each has heard whispers about a land-grab scheme. They collect clues that lead them to conclude that a notorious developer intends to grab a huge swath of land, including theirs, on which to build the biggest casino resort between Florida and the West Coast. To drive down land costs, the developer has thugs on standby to sabotage the drainage system by illegally dumping construction debris into ditches. The developer may have miscalculated, though. His scheme would not only flood land, but also contaminate Houston's drinking water. The city would be destroyed under that nightmare scenario.
The pastor, the former cop and the lawyer realize they may be the only people who can head off the disaster. To do it, though, will require political cunning, prayer, stealth, and gonzo tactics. The pastor has to win election to a seat in the Texas Legislature without having his name appear on the ballot.
Narrating the story of the write-in campaign is Nina, a marketing consultant. Nina and Foster the lawyer grew up together and remain friends. Their relationship in mid-life has survived a lopsided romance from their teens, when Nina was obsessed with Foster. That fire simmered into ashes when they went their separate ways after high school. Nina now owes a recent financial windfall to Foster, who successfully represented her in a lawsuit against the same developer they now suspect of scheming to ruin Davey Wilson Road.
Nina makes two new friends. The first is Pearl, Stan's beloved stepmother who took care of Stan's reprobate father in his old age. Stan is grateful to Pearl for what she endured, and does what he can to make Pearl's life pleasurable. Nina's second new friend is the pastor's wife, Juanita. Juanita married Joshua after the death of his first wife who was the mother of his children: now Juanita's stepchildren and foster children.
Author Rosie Walker closely adhered to the Texas Election Code in creating the plot for The Write-In.