Hawk Mountain: A Novel (Hardcover)
"HAWK MOUNTAIN by Conner Habib is at once one of the most disturbing and damning novels ever written about the results of toxic masculinity in our society. Fifteen years after graduation, our protagonist, Todd, comes face to face with his bully, Jack, from high school. What follows is a -- literal -- deconstruction of the thriller novel and a deep, hard look into the soul of two men so full of hate and rage and regret that violence doesn't just shimmer to the surface; it explodes like a breaching whale. This novel never went where I expected it to go, full of twist, turns, and gasp-inducing moments that totally shifted the narrative. It was horrifying, suspenseful, tragic, sad, and, in places, quite beautiful. This is the work of a great writer, and I cannot believe it is Conner's first novel. Be warned, reader, that this is a book for strong stomachs. There are graphic moments of violence that are difficult to read, but there is a lot more here than the violence and gore. This is a book with its eye and heart firmly set upon where our world is now. Brave readers will find much to love."— From Bill recommends
An English teacher is gaslit by his charismatic high school bully in this tense story of deception, manipulation, and murder.
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.
— Clive Barker
Dripping with menace from the first page, this story of childhood enemies meeting up fifteen years later is utterly enthralling.… [C]ompelling, shocking, and beautiful.
— Liz Nugent, author of Lying in Wait
Tender, horrifying, utterly transfixing.
— Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
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
Hawk Mountain is deft horror, made of precise strikes into our most vulnerable psychic terrain… Finally, a horror story that knows cisheteropatriarchy is the villain!
— Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
Conner Habib writes with [a] hallucinatory precision, and a kind of merciless humanity, about the poisonous work of repression. His forebears—Poe, Highsmith, even classical tragedy—are clear, but his originality is clearer still. Hawk Mountain is a work of strange, glittering darkness.
— Mark O’Connell, author of Notes from an Apocalypse
A brilliantly disturbing, expertly crafted literary noir that will stick with you long after you put it down. Conner Habib has written a flawless meditation on the fruitless, but eternally human, effort to kill off the parts of ourselves we cannot love—literally and metaphorically. I love this book.
— Sara Gran, author of The Infinite Blacktop
A moving and unflinching portrayal of a man caught in a trap of his own making, but willing to do almost anything—to almost anybody—if it will keep him from having to face up to himself. Hawk Mountain is a wonderfully bleak and beautifully written debut.
— Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World
Habib brings rich psychological insight to his characters, expertly observing how the conflicts of youth persist into Todd and Jack’s present. …[T]his dramatic tale soars.
— Publishers Weekly
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)
This heart-pounding thriller will have readers furiously turning pages…this gorgeous debut affirms [Habib’s] stunning gift for dissecting humanity.
— Booklist (starred review)