> Skip to content
  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143796992
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.00

House of Hollow

Extract

Prologue

I was ten years old the first time I realised I was strange. Around midnight, a woman dressed in white slipped through my bedroom window and cut off a lock of my hair with sewing scissors. I was awake the whole time, tracking her in the dark, so frozen by fear that I couldn’t move, couldn’t scream.

I watched as she held the  curl of my hair to her nose and inhaled. I watched as she put it on her tongue and closed her mouth and savoured the taste for a few moments before swallowing. I watched as she bent over me and ran a fingertip along the hook shaped scar at the base of my throat.

It was only when she opened my door – bound for the bedrooms of my older sisters, with the scissors still held at her side – that I finally screamed.

My mother tackled her in the hall. My sisters helped hold her down. The woman was rough and rabid, thrashing against the three of them with a strength we’d later learn was fueled by amphetamines. She bit my mother. She headbutted my middle sister, Vivi, so hard in the face that her nose was crushed and both of her eye sockets were bruised for weeks.

It was Grey, my eldest sister, who finally subdued her. When she thought my mother wasn’t looking, she bent low over the wild woman’s face and pressed her lips against her mouth. It was a soft kiss right out of a fairy tale, made gruesome by the fact that the woman’s chin was slick with our mother’s blood.

For a moment the air smelled sweet and wrong, a mixture of honey and something else, something rotten. Grey pulled back and held the woman’s head in her hands, and then watched her, intently, waiting. My sister eyes were so black, they looked like polished river stones. She was fourteen then, and already the most beautiful creature I could imagine. I wanted to peel the skin from her body and wear it draped over mine.

The woman shuddered beneath greys touch and then just . . . stopped.

By the time the police arrived, the woman’s eyes were wide and faraway, her limbs so liquid she could no longer stand and had to be carried out, limp as a drunk, by three officers.

I wonder if Grey already knew then what we were.


House of Hollow Krystal Sutherland

A New York Times Bestseller!An Instant Indie Bestseller!'This dark, deliciously twisted novel has everything you could hope for as a reader – a brilliant concept, glamorous characters with secrets to hide, immersive world-building, and some of the finest writing I’ve seen in YA fiction. I’ll put it like this – I am obsessed with House of Hollow.’ Louise O'Neill, author of Printz Honor Book, Asking For It

Buy now
Buy now

More extracts

See all
Black Wolf

I am running through the desert, the red earth firm and unyielding beneath my trainers.

Coastwatcher

They were still 400 yards from the strip of white beach and the crammed jungle behind it when the fighter planes came.

Violet Black

The world is white and bright and terrifying.

The Hatmakers

It was a wild and lightning-struck night.

Breathless

I open my eyes and I am tangled in the sheets, books upside down on the floor.

Hello Strange

Josie's start is unexpected. She lies afloat and asleep in a tank of nutrient broth, when one billion volts split the sky.

A Trio of Sophies

Today is the first of September, the first day of spring, and it's been sixty four days since I last saw Sophie Abercrombie.

Showtym Adventures 7: Jackamo, the Supreme Champion

Fourteen-year-old Vicki sat up in bed, her heart racing.

The Emerald Sea

Being better than everyone else was exhausting work.

Finding

The September days are shorter and cooler now.

Ash Arising

It's gutting how much can change in just four weeks.