Savaging the Dark by Christopher Conlon


Savaging the Dark by Christopher Conlon

Mona Straw has it all-beautiful daughter, caring husband, lovely home, fulfilling job as a middle-school teacher. But one day a new man enters Mona’s life and turns it upside down, their passionate affair tilting her mind to the edge of madness-and murder.

Her lover’s name is Connor. He’s got blonde hair, green eyes…and he’s eleven years old.


“If there’s a single author working in the horror genre who deserves wider notice, it might be Conlon, whose astonishing A MATRIX OF ANGELS(2011) is the most wrenching serial-killer novel of the past decade. This follow-up button-pusher would pair perfectly with Alissa Nutting’s controversial TAMPA (2013), if not for the opening scene: a terrified 11-year-old boy gagged and handcuffed to a bed while our narrator, sixth-grade English teacher Mona Straw, licks the dirt from his feet. From there, we backtrack to learn of Mona’s evolving infatuation with student Connor Blue, a kid as average and unremarkable as his teacher. Connor soon graduates from extra study lessons to yard work to an overwhelming sexual relationship, with every step utterly believable as Mona cycles through giddy elation, mordant depression, and, most of all, tortured self-justifications of her actions: ‘The top buttons are undone on the blouse but that’s because I’m just casually hanging around the house, no other reason.’ Conlon’s prose is so sturdy that Mona’s impaired viewpoint (for example, her concern that the power of their relationship is shifting to Connor) almost makes sense before it plunges them both into unavoidable disaster. Conlon writes with literary depth and commercial aplomb; his days of too-little recognition seem numbered.” – Daniel Kraus, BOOKLIST (starred review)


“The lyrical, the lingering, the stories of ghosts as well as non-supernatural hauntings you’ll never forget-that’s what Christopher Conlon gives you. Conlon is one of the best of our time and of the times to come. He is one hell of a writer.”

-Mort Castle, author of NEW MOON ON THE WATER

“Along with Laird Barron and John Langan, Christopher Conlon is carrying the torch for literary horror in the 21st century. Pay attention, because Conlon is one of our best, hands down.”

-Joe McKinney, author of FLESH EATERS and INHERITANCE

“Conlon is a consummate literary artist.”

-George Clayton Johnson, author of TWILIGHT ZONE SCRIPTS AND STORIES

“Christopher Conlon has a major talent…with a marvelous artistic grasp of the joys, pains, and sorrows of this world we all inhabit. His work reflects the depths of the human heart. He is a superb writer.”

-William F. Nolan, author of LOGAN’S RUN

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