The Shadows of Owls

A Novel

John Keeble

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  • $28.95 hardcover (9780295993157) Add to Cart
  • Published: 2013
  • Subject Listing: Literature / Fiction; Pacific Northwest
  • Bibliographic information: 460 pp., 1 map, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

In a literary thriller about science, power, and the lives of ordinary people, John Keeble tells the story of a woman whose passion for her work puts herself and her family at serious risk.

Kate DeShazer is a marine biologist whose research threatens the construction of an oil pipeline in Alaska's Chukchi Sea. A group of extremists, hired by an international petroleum conglomerate, intimidate her, steal her records, and leave her fighting for her life. Her husband Jack and son Travis are pulled into a web of international intrigue and violence as they try to save her.

With vivid prose, Keeble brings to life the winter landscape of northern Idaho and southern British Columbia and reveals the interconnectedness of the people within it-from scientists to loggers to white supremacists-as each must answer to the demands of corporate power.

Visit the author's website:
John Keeble is professor emeritus of creative writing at Eastern Washington University. He is the author of four novels, including Yellowfish and Broken Ground, both recently reissued; a collection of short stories; and a work of nonfiction, Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound.

"John Keeble has written a novel that will make your heart and mind race. The Shadows of Owls pulses with masterfully written suspense and sparks with questions-questions about the alliances of sorrow and evil, sanctity and madness, love and regret, and especially about the cold, implacable contest between the amoral violence of corporations and the power of stormy seas and snow-drifted land."
-Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Holdfast and Wild Comfort

"The Shadows of Owls is a continually vivid and exactingly researched story about the petro-chemical disasters that are haunting our writhing world. Spectacular, compelling and brilliantly articulated. The strongest eco-novel in memory. A masterwork."
-William Kittredge, author of Hole in the Sky

"John Keeble is a hell of a descriptive writer, and combining his brilliant talent and love of landscape with an eco-thriller plot is a great idea. The Shadows of Owls is an unusual and ambitious novel with great skill at depicting the outer life of the Northwest and the inner life of its characters."
-William Dietrich, author of The Barbed Crown and Final Forest

"The Shadows of Owls is an original, well-written novel. It has Edward Abbey's pro-environmental leanings, Ken Kesey's lyricism, and, with Keeble's familiarity with fisheries, biology, computer technology, logging, and the workings of sea-going vessels, in places it reads like something from Tom Clancy."
-James Aho, professor emeritus of Sociology, Idaho State University


"Against the backdrop of blizzards in an unforgiving landscape, Keeble keeps the pages turning . . . it's the unsettling end of the book that leans most toward 'literary' in this ambitious thriller."
-Suzy Vitello, The Oregonian, November 2013

"It's kind of reductive to call John Keeble's novel The Shadows of Owls an eco-thriller. That's what it's been billed as, but . . . Keeble's imagination is too poetic, wandering and engrossing to be confined to a thriller's format."
-Kate Whittle, Missoula Independent, October 2013

"Keeble's prose and descriptions of the landscape in the Northwest are stunning, and he takes every opportunity to slow the narrative and observe the beauty of what surrounds the characters. Even so, the story is riveting and suspenseful, full of surprises behind every bend in the scenery-strewn road."
-Heather Paulson, Booklist, October 15 2013

"With The Shadows of Owls, novelist John Keeble has unleashed a sprawling storm of a novel that has all the elements of a Northwest classic. Keeble has crafted an armchair-gripping eco-thriller that is broad and generous in its portrayal of ordinary people caught in the grip of unchecked power."
-Tim McNulty, Seattle Times, September 8 2013

"Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University, John Keeble is himself a master wordsmith with a gift of narrative fiction and the creation of identifiable and memorable characters. A solid entertainment from beginning to end, The Shadow of Owls is highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library contemporary fiction collections."
-Jack Mason, The Midwest Book Review