Shared History

Coming fall of 2021

Outside of Choteau, Montana are three crosses on a plateau, called Priest Butte. The story goes that a hundred and sixty years ago Blackfeet warriors savagely murdered three priests. OR the story goes that priests tortured and killed three Blackfeet boys. Two stories. One history.

Which is too bloody intriguing for history professor Duncan O’Doherty, Duke, to pass up. He’s spent his life solving, or trying to solve, some of history’s greatest mysteries. Alone. Prone to panic attacks if too sociable, he’s used to being very alone. But after moving to Montana to solve the Priest Butte mystery, he finds himself with four forceful assistants, all colleagues. One in the group of absent-minded professors is Dr. Illiamna Jones. Pretty Dr. Jones. Lovely Illiamna.

When it comes to the Catholic Church giving any kind of clarity, they have a practiced omission for an answer to all of the historical abuses—Duke knows this from his own dark, painful experience. Oddly, the more he and the persuasive Scooby Doo gang dig, the closer he gets to his own past. But he can’t let anyone get close to his past. Not even these Montanan academics—goat herders and sweater makers, all around wonderful people. And especially beautiful Illiamna cannot know what happened. He would rather die than let anyone know, even as the past comes knocking on his door.

Shared History examines trauma and the trauma within history, of writing the past with an agenda. It’s Spotlight goes to Montana, to Indian Country. Told with humor, candid rawness, and a lot of swearing, it’s a mix of revolting historical revelations and the buoyancy of the human spirit.