cover image A Hawk in the Woods

A Hawk in the Woods

Carrie Laben. Word Horde, $16.99 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-1-939905-46-8

Laben’s debut novel is a gruesome, wry horror story that follows Abby Waite, who has an ability to draw energy from and control others. She and her twin sister, Martha, learned to hone their powers through years of abusive tutelage at the hands of their grandfather and mother. When Abby finds out she’s dying, she decides to break her sister out of prison and return to the family cabin, hoping to perform a mysterious ritual and achieve something her grandfather never could. Just like Abby, there are moments where Laben’s voice can push a little too hard, but it’s impossible not to get caught up in the story as it jumps back and forth in time while maintaining a foreboding, unearthly mood. Each new twist captivates and feels like a sickening revelation rather than a cheap scare. At once sly and grim, soberingly real and darkly fantastical, the story of the Waite sisters will haunt readers like an eerie old folk song. [em]Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Mgmt. (Apr.) [/em]