Jeff Howe’s novel “The Silver Pigeons” takes readers on a journey through oil country, and features some familiar local destinations, and even has an appearance from a well-known name in the Williston region.
Howe’s story takes places on the border of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and tells the story of Garrett Ingram and Hollis Baumgartner, two executives who reunite at a pheasant lodge for a week of upland hunting. But when the unthinkable occurs in those prairie grass fields with their guide and man’s best friend, Garrett and Hollis are forced to make a decision that pits their band-of-brothers bond, and ultimately their survival, against their love of family, pushing both to the edge of ruin.
“The Silver Pigeons” is Howe’s second novel, and was scheduled for release in February, but was held back until June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Howe said he was interested in writing a story that took place in Montana, but was inspired by longtime friend T.J. Corcoran to incorporate parts of North Dakota, the Bakken and Williston into the narrative.
Corcoran in an attorney in Williston, as well as owner of Hops & Berry Taproom and the Corcoran School. On top of helping inspire some of the locales in the novel, Howe included a character in the novel based on his friend, who is also an attorney.
“I’ve relied on (Corcoran) in the past when I need legal expertise involving a scene or things like that,” Howe told the Williston Herald. “So when I had the ability to use a lawyer as a major character in the book, naturally I had to give him the surname of Corcoran or he would disown me.”
Howe’s novel has gotten many five-star reviews on Amazon, and the author said he was received many compliments on his vivid descriptions of the area, which he said is all the more welcome, considering that he has never visited Williston, and did the majority of his research via Google Maps. Howe has been through North Dakota before, he explained, but never through the Williston area.
“The Silver Pigeons did not disappoint me! It starts with a bang and it does not, for one instant, abate!” One Amazon review reads. “The breath-taking settings that Mr. Howe paints with words, together with his realistic, exquisitely-crafted characters, lead us into a terrifyingly-realistic, nerve-wracking, ‘edge of the seat’ maze of discovery about the true character of friendship, family commitments, and financial greed. If you can put this book down, then you are stronger than I!”
Howe said Corcoran and his ties to the region helped craft the story and take it in a direction he hadn’t expected, but that ultimately became integral to the story.
“If it wasn’t for (Corcoran), I probably wouldn’t have gone in the direction of energy in this book, and that would have made the book less.” he said. “I’m so glad that the Bakken play comes into the this, and it’s really a huge part of the story.”
Howe said he left the story open for the possibility of a follow-up, and that he has a “kernel for a sequel for sure.”
“The Silver Pigeons,” as well as Howe’s first novel, “Into the Roaring Fork,” are available on Amazon and most local bookstores. Visit jeffhowebooks.com for more information on the author and his upcoming works.