After recently divorced Kara moves into her uncle’s home she discovers through a hole in a wall a portal to an alternate and mysterious reality. This is the beginning to T. Kingfisher’s horror novel The Hollow Places, a story that moves at a quick pace but offers too few spine-tingling scares.
After climbing through the hole, Kara and a friend discover themselves in a concrete bunker. Outside the bunker flows a river, dotted with tiny islands, each holding its own bunker. Against all good judgement, but in the best horror-story tradition, the pair explores the strange land and make a series of unsettling discoveries. It quickly becomes clear there is more to the place than originally met their eyes and a sense of ever present danger lurks below the surface. But what lives in this place does not want to stay put and Kara soon finds hints of the it seeping into her world. She has to act quickly before the dangerous things that live there invade her universe.
While the plot The Hollow Places (digital galley, Saga Press) moves along quickly enough to hold the reader’s interest, for a book categorized as horror it is remarkably short on foreboding and suspense. Tense moments that could have been built up slowly seem to pass too quickly, and thus a little uneventfully. Call it horror-light. Feel free to turn out the lights and dangle your feet off the side of the bed while reading this book.