It's his word against hers, and the stakes couldn't be higher.
When a teenager accuses a key official of a local charity of blackmailing her for sex—and then abruptly disappears—a mystery turns into a crisis, raising concerns about the girl's safety, the charity's survival, and the career and reputation of a man who says he is innocent.
Enter Jonas Hawke, retired lawyer and sage of Beacon Junction. Jonas has just agreed to oversee the charitable group, a friend's attempt to help Jonas move past his grief over the death of his wife. It's his job to uncover the facts and ensure that justice will be done.
Jonas is helped—and hindered—by the arrival of Dylan Walker and his eight-year-old son. Why a single dad has chosen to move to a small town in Vermont to start a new life is a mystery that tugs at Jonas, especially when Dylan develops an amorous interest in Jonas's married daughter.
Hawke's Return is the tale of a man groping his way back from the loss of his beloved soul mate, even as he struggles with an intractable dilemma.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I won this in a giveaway and wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised. For starters, it couldn’t be more timely. A key plot involves an accusation of sexual harassment, though one that much more in the gray area than those in the news today. It makes you consider what you’d do if you were the boss and one employee is accused of sexual harassment and you can’t tell which party is telling the truth (neither is really trustworthy). You can’t let it go lightly but you don’t want to ruin someone’s reputation if it didn’t happen. The plot is a bit slow moving – not for those who like action on every page – but there was enough happening to keep me reading. The real strength of the book is the characters. They come to life as good people but realistically flawed. I liked it enough that I’m going to buy the author’s earlier book.
Hawke’s Return is a delight to read. The story line unfolds during a few weeks in the small Vermont town of Beacon Junction. As in Willen’s first novel, the lead character is the admirable, if imperfect, Jonas Hawke. Surrounding Jonas is an ensemble of strong characters. We come to care about these people in their own right –not only Jonas but also his adult daughter Sally, their friend Mary Louise, newcomers Dylan and his son Max, an endearing eight-year old boy. Facing their own emotional issues, these characters wrestle with moral and ethical choices having no simplistic solutions. The setting is nicely drawn, and the novel has suspense, keeping the reader engrossed throughout the story. I was glad to spend my time with these characters, and I’m hoping to meet them again.