cover image The Hollow Places

The Hollow Places

T. Kingfisher. Saga, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-5344-5112-4

Kingfisher (The Twisted Ones) imagines the horrors lying between worlds in this chilling supernatural thriller. Recently divorced Kara (aka Carrot) moves in with her uncle Earl to help run his Wonder Museum. The “museum” houses a hodgepodge of curiosities, taxidermy, and assorted knickknacks, but it’s always held good memories for Carrot. Then a hole mysteriously opens in the museum’s wall, revealing a hallway that should not exist. With the help of Simon, the barista from the coffee shop next door, Carrot sets out to discover where the hall leads. On the other end they find a strange world comprised of tiny islands covered in willows and containing concrete bunkers—and a mysterious group of occupants simply referred to as They. They can read minds and have a habit of flaying the people who stumble upon their home, leaving visitors’ bones neatly piled. Carrot and Simon escape but are drawn back by recurring dreams of what they’ve seen. Though some overly familiar elements mar the otherwise tight plot, in They Kingfisher has crafted a truly terrifying monster with minimal descriptions that leave the reader’s imagination to run wild. With well-timed humor and perfect scares, this one is a keeper for horror fans. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Oct.)