Hawke’s Return

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.


Hawke’s Return is a well-written, thought-provoking novel about the ethical challenges and choices of complex characters whose lives intersect in a small New England village. Willen has drawn his characters with care, compassion, and authenticity. The reader will not soon forget them, the struggles they encounter, and their coping strategies. Highly recommended.

—Hank Parker, author of Containment

The moral question in this book is a sexual harassment claim, which couldn’t be more timely. The answers are never easy, however. The characters in Hawke’s Return are flawed and sometimes fragile, but their strength lies in their search for what they believe is the truth. An unassuming, character-driven novel that makes you think long after you have turned the last page.

—Cindy Young-Turner, author of Thief of Hope

This second in Willen’s “Hawke” series is a winner. By the time you come to the conclusion, the main characters—Jonas, the semi-retired lawyer and patriarch of the family; Mary Louise, the buxom former call girl turned newspaper columnist; and Sally, Hawke’s daughter, who runs the B&B in Vermont—have become your friends. New characters, Dylan and Max, a widower and his young son, bring a lot of interpersonal drama to a story that deals with the problem of sexual harassment.

—Henry A. Zoob, author of A Lifetime of Genesis

Mark Willen