A violent felon unexpectedly set free. An anonymous tip to a newspaper reporter. An ugly scandal that threatens a gubernatorial candidate. Together, they amount to another high-stakes crisis for Jonas Hawke—especially since the newspaper reporter is his son and the violent felon a former client.
With the election drawing close and his son eager to run with a story he can't verify, it's up to Jonas to unwrap the mystery, protect his son, and see that justice is done. What he discovers tests his loyalties and thrusts him squarely into the middle of a political campaign.
Hawke's Discovery, a stand-alone third novel in Mark Willen's Jonas Hawke series, has everything readers have come to expect—a page-turning plot with true-to-life characters confronting ethical dilemmas that have no easy solutions.
Praise for Hawke's Discovery
Characters traverse a dense and intriguing morally gray area . . . An unhurried tale that makes its enthralling characters the biggest mystery of all.
~ Kirkus Reviews
In his third novel, Mark Willen continues to explore how and why characters make the critical decisions that shape their lives. With a controversy that pits individuals' rights to privacy against the people's right to know, Willen proves he's a master of creating compelling circumstances and pushing readers to decide what the characters should do about them. Hawke's Discovery is outstanding fiction. It kept me guessing and made me think.
~ Sally Whitney, author of Surface and Shadow
Beacon Junction is the kind of place where you can walk everywhere but might not need to go anywhere—until the town becomes the pulsing heart of Vermont—and the site of this page-turner. Willen's style brings to mind that of Richard Russo. A five-star read!
~ Gary Garth McCann, author of The Man Who Asked to Be Killed
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As Hawke and Nathan discover secrets we feel the pressures of being a good lawyer and journalist as well as a decent human being. A suspenseful story with interesting characters, providing insights into our justice system as a blunt instrument. Read for enjoyment and personal edification. J. Roby
Jonas Hawke, a retired lawyer in Beacon Junction, Vermont, finds himself in a moral and ethical dilemma when his son Nathan, editor of the local paper, begins investigating one of Jonas’s old cases. Nathan is intrigued by the possibility of a coverup involving the leading contender for governor in the upcoming election. A big scoop like that could lead to a job offer from a large city paper, something Nathan has been seeking for a while. However, Jonas’s client confidentiality severely limits how far he can go in answering Nathan’s questions, much to his son’s frustration. Nathan points out Jonas’s responsibility to his fellow citizens: what if Martha Bennett wins the gubernatorial election and then is indicted for obstruction of justice? I love stories like this where ordinary people with a strong sense of integrity have to navigate the tricky waters of an ethical dilemma. Nathan and Jonas are not the only ones in this story with competing personal and professional responsibilities. The mystery of what happened in that long-ago case and the various interpersonal conflicts provide tension, but the real suspense is about the characters. What course will they choose? What will the outcome be? What I like most about this book is its subtlety. All of the characters mean well. They want to do the right thing, if they could only be sure what that is. They seem like people I know. You don’t need a villain in a story like this. We are our own worst antagonists, drifting in the dark without a map. Mark Willen’s novel has heart. While exploring the murky regions where integrity is put to the test and competing responsibilities rend us, Hawke’s Discovery gives us characters who despite their flaws are essentially good. If you’re suffering from too many stories of sociopaths, serial killers and rapists, pick up this novel. It will refresh you with its enduring optimism. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I enjoyed the two earlier books about Jonas Hawke, finding them a pleasure to read, yet this one is my favorite. Willen is especially skillful at weaving ethical questions into his plot line, raising compelling questions for both his characters and his readers. The novel is engaging on multiple fronts. It is part mystery and a page turner throughout. The characters, especially Jonas and Max are very well done. Willen captures the experiences of aging through Jonas as well as the perspective of a precocious ten-year-old through Max, a double perspective that gives the novel a nice balance. Although Jonas is an established figure in Willen’s fiction, he continues to grow (and earn my respect) in this novel. Set in small-town Vermont, the imaginative story raises political and journalistic issues that are universal, yet timely. The novel lingers after the story ends