Judith D Collins
Within These Walls
By: Ania Ahlborn
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 4/21/2015
My Rating: 4 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.
A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nice Cover. WITHIN THESE WALLS by Ania Ahlborn, a haunting mix of horror, mystery, evil, supernatural, psycho, and a crime thriller; reminiscent of Stephen King – so lock all the doors, turn out the lights with your e-reader, grab a cup of tea or coffee . . . . and settle in for a chilling read. Lucas is a crime writer and he needs a bestseller. His marriage is not in a much better position than his career. At the end of his rope, he receives a letter which may be his opportunity for a second chance. The letter of course is so seductive and charming, making the recipient appear as a lover of literature, and complimenting Lucas, as special and “chosen” to tell this story. Jeffrey Halcomb is an inmate at a maximum security prison, Lambert Correctional Facility, Rainier Unit, in Lambert, Washington, a death row cult leader. With an opportunity to tell his story, Lucas jumps at the chance. Lucas wants to be the one with the exclusive story –he knows this will make his career. The terms he will grant him --interviews but all communication must be in person and the next term is he has to take up residence at 101 Montlake Road in Pier Pointe, Washington –the scene of the crime. “You want my story—you live in my house”. All has to be done within four weeks of the postmark of the letter. The clock is ticking. Can he be trusted? From the eighties, Audra Snow, the daughter of Washington State congressman was found dead in her Pier Pointe Washington home (something out of a horror movie). Cult activity was strongly suspected. Ten dead, one caught. Her body was not the only victim at the scene. The bodies of eight others were found arranged in a circle with Ms. Snow at the center. Her unborn child was not spared. Police suspected suicide on the part of the eight currently unidentified victims. Thinking the acts were of satanic activity; however, this was not the first time the small community of Pier Pointe had been rocked by tragedy. The novel switches back and forth from the events leading up to the murder and suicides and the present day with Lucas and his daughter in the Halcomb home—and as cult leaders go, they are charismatic and have followers inside and outside the prison continuing their work – true to form with the main antagonist. The protagonist is a true-crime writer, and the author does a good job of incorporating the police procedures, and elements of a crime thriller tying together the past with the present. My first book by Ahlborn, - typically not a big fan of supernatural; however, enjoy suspense, crime and psycho thrillers . . . . As the storylines connect, an engaging, yet lengthy read with twists and turns. Fans of this genre, will delight. “It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead. People feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand, looking out the window, sound and well in some new disguise.–Ralph Waldo Emerson
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April 2015 Must Reads