Reviewed by Claudia Robinson

“I got as far as this lake, a big-ass lake with an unpronounceable name. Slept there on the ground. God, was it cold, even though it was almost summer. When I woke up in the morning, I was there on the edge of this lake, and you could see Canada.” George, telling his son about his attempt to avoid the draft, The Reckoning.

New Hope College is where George James and Freeman Hawk, two completely different young men, one wealthy, the other a country boy with a violent family history, first meet. College roommates, in the 60’s, with a war brewing and an ominous impending draft, the two men exchange ideas and ideals about the future, their places within it and what they can do to alter it. During a failed attempt to avoid the draft, George is forced to reassess his new found perspectives and forget his wild and rebellious friend, Freeman.

30 plus years later, post 9/11, George, along with his troubled teenage son Jake, is forced to again reevaluate his future after the loss of his beloved wife to cancer. With Jake relegated to a school for troubled teens and George’s business on the brink of bankruptcy, Freeman Hawk’s sudden reappearance threatens to snap the final thread of normalcy George and Jake are clinging to. When it’s evident the mysterious Freeman is running from someone or something, things become downright chaotic, and dangerous.

The Reckoning is a fast-paced, two timeline tale of men, the women they love, God and country, torn loyalties, lies, deception, alcohol, sex and drugs. Unique, manipulative, deep, daring and downright devious, this is a book anyone who has ever had ‘what if’ moment, will relate to. Complex, full bodied, riveting, Howard Owen delivers a delicious little ditty about two generations of men, the past and future that binds them and ultimately changes them, the altered course of relationships based upon choice and consequence and all the in between mayhem and madness that serves to fill a beginning and end, perfectly.

A quick, powerful, gunshot kind of read, The Reckoning is the perfect cloudy sky summer day, backyard hammock, whiskey on the rocks, read.

Rating: 4.5/5

Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.