Within These Walls
Author: Ania Ahlborn
Published: April 21, 2015
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
From indie horror author and bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn, this brand-new supernatural thriller questions: how far would you go for success, and what would you be capable of if the promise of forever was real?
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.
I was all set to love this book. Y’all know that I find Charlie Manson incredibly intriguing and you throw in cults and paranormal, then I’m all over that. Unfortunately, Within These Walls missed the mark. Most of the book was taken up with angsty drama coming not just from the emo teen daughter, but from the adult true crime author as well! Audra, the original victim of Jeffrey Halcomb, got a little too whiny, though I will admit that she was the more realistic, portraying just how damaging anxiety can be. But what really got me, was the fact that when I sat down to write this review, I couldn’t remember what the book was about. I had to read the synopsis on the back just to remember anything about it!
While I was reading it, I was mostly enjoying it; I just felt that by the end, all the anticipation wasn’t warranted or fulfilled. The paranormal element was the only truly unique thing about the story; the tiniest little twist at the end managed to salvage some bit of the story. Then, the nail in the coffin: Ahlborn referenced Michael Myers, wait for it, searching for Camp Crystal Lake. That’s it, you’ve lost all respect as a horror writer. Please return your membership card at the door as you vacate the premises. Listen lady, you’re lucky I kept reading after that point! Overall, this was a really disappointing read and I can’t really recommend it to anyone. There is a saving grace, that cover is amazing! But that’s about the only amazing thing.