Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn Review

witwPlot: Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller

Judging the Cover: This cover jut screams “creepy ghost story” to me and I love it!

Plot according to Goodreads: With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback. So when he’s promised exclusive access to notorious cult leader and death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the opportunity is too good to pass up. Lucas leaves New York for the scene of the crime—a split-level farmhouse on the gray-sanded beach of Washington State—a house whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb’s diviners; runaways who, thirty years prior, were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. Lucas wants to tell the real story of Halcomb’s faithful departed, but when Halcomb goes back on his promise of granting Lucas exclusive information on the case, he’s left to put the story together on his own. Except he is not alone. For Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life…and within these walls, they’re far from dead.

My thoughts: This story pulled me in from the beginning and didn’t disappoint in any way. There was a point when the scariness of the book caused me to resolve only to read it during the day.

The Good: The story revolves around a cult leader named Jeffrey Halcomb who is in prison for murder of a follower. Jeffrey’s family of followers was very similar to the Manson family (who the author references a few times in the book). I’ve always been fascinated by cults and the way people are able to persuade others to do outrageous things…it’s a very scary thought and the fact that this happens in real life is terrifying.

The author is a gifted storyteller. The imagery in the book is very clear and the premise, although it reminded me of the Manson family, was very original compared to the other books I’ve read.

There were a few twists and that I didn’t see coming and the ending was a surprise (which I loved).

What I didn’t Like: There were a few moments that could have been edited out due to relevance but it didn’t really bother me.

My rating: 4 1/2 stars (out of 5)

I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

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