Hawk Mountain is a queer horror story as tender as a caress to the cheek before the snapping of a neck. It begins when two classmates, Todd and Jack, victim and bully, meet again after fifteen years. Todd, now a single father, is less than thrilled about this reunion — especially as "can we catch up" turns into "can I stay the week" and Jack begins to worm his way into Todd and his son's life. What happens next is as unexpected as it is inevitable. This is a deeply chilling and poignant tale born from the horrors of homophobia; when love and hatred blur until indistinguishable, when we are doomed to continue our own cycles of abuse. Conner Habib has written perhaps my favorite book I've read all year: I can't recommend it enough. Recommended By Nicole S, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Single father Todd is relaxing at the beach with his son, Anthony, when he catches sight of a man approaching from the water's edge. As the man draws closer, Todd recognizes him as Jack, who bullied Todd relentlessly in their teenage years, but now seems overjoyed to have "run into" his old friend. Jack suggests a meal to catch up. And can he spend the night?
What follows is a fast-paced story of obsession and cunning. As Jack invades Todd's life, pain and intimidation from the past unearth knife-edge suspense in the present. Set in a small town on the New England coast, Conner Habib's debut introduces characters trapped in isolation by the expansive woods and the encroaching ocean, their violence an expression of repressed desire and the damage it can inflict. Both gruesome and tender, Hawk Mountain offers a compelling look at how love and hate are indissoluble, intertwined until the last breath.
“The tension is palpable on every page, and Habib skillfully illustrates the complexity of relationships and the pain of unmet desires, both queer and otherwise. His prose is as brutal as it is profound and beautiful.... A brutal and gorgeous tale of manipulation, control, and desire.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Conner Habib's debut novel is a bleak, dark adrenaline rush.” Clive Barker
“A deeply disturbing yet, somehow, soaring novel I won't soon forget. It plumbs the depths of traumatized characters trapped within our damaging culture. I couldn't look away, even when I was looking from between my fingers.” Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Pallbearers Club
“The opening lines of Hawk Mountain plummet you into an atmosphere of creeping dread and precarious restraint that won't let up until the final, shocking moments.” Caitlin Doughty, bestselling author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
About the Author
Conner Habib hosts the podcast Against Everyone with Conner Habib, which features conversations with artists, intellectuals, and countercultural figures, and covers topics as wide-ranging as punk rock, philosophy, pornography, and occultism. His nonfiction writing has appeared in multiple online and print magazines. He lives in Ireland. Hawk Mountain is his first novel.