The first thing you’ll notice about Hawk’s Point are the atmospherics. The story takes place in Beacon Junction, a little place where everyone knows everyone, the small town newspaper prints things everyone has an opinion on, a place where you can predict where someone will be according to their habit at any time of the day and life seems to progress on an expected, and steady pace and that’s just how this story is; evenly paced and fully explored.
But like most small towns, dig a little deeper and there’s much more going on, everyone has secrets, everyone has losses they are fighting through and they all seem to be struggling with something significant as we all do. The ethical dilemmas abound in this story. Who is right? Who is wrong? Does it matter?
Does it matter that the woman who cooks the best breakfast in town is also the town prostitute, servicing multiple regular clients? Does it matter that the main source of income in the town is producing a product that is dangerous, possibly fatal? Does it matter that everyone has secrets? Should you try to find out what the secrets are?
The town teeters on a ledge between its continued existence and one that could disappear should the main business in town go away. And it seems the lives of all the characters are teetering, between living a simple small town life and facing the dilemmas they’ve avoided for decades but seem now, to have to face.
It’s a great story, wholly engrossing and well told. I could hardly put it down. A must read for anyone who likes a thoughtful, well-paced mystery.
Full confession here, Mark Willen is a member of my writing group. I saw just a few of these chapters before the book went to print although he’d already completed the novel and had a publisher when I first saw the pages. When I purchased and read the book, aside from the first couple of chapters, I’d never seen the pages before.
Since the book was largely done by the time he joined our group, Mark started bringing pages of a completely different story, one I completely enjoyed and I hope he’ll be publishing soon as well. It’s equally entertaining as Hawk’s Point and fully deserves to be shared with readers.
Some would assume, that since we’re in the same writing group, I would automatically give Mark five stars and a glowing review. Believe me, that’s not the case. While everyone in my group has grown very good at giving tough commentary in a positive way, we never let ourselves get away with half-baked ideas– which is why I love them. While I didn’t have a hand in how wonderful Hawk’s Point turned out to be, I have had the benefit of Mark’s insight into my work. My lastest release, The General’s Ambition, benefited greatly from Mark and the rest of my writing groups valuable and thoughtful critiques. Like Mark, I know that sugar coating critiques doesn’t help anyone. So we’re hard on each other. Hopefully, that shows.
All of that said, whether I knew Mark or not, I thought Hawk’s Point is a great book. I think you will too.