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Within These Walls

Narrated by: R. C. Bray
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (278 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed-up true-crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback, one more shot at the best-selling success he once enjoyed. His chance comes when he's promised exclusive access to death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the notorious cult leader and mass murderer who's ready to break his silence after 30 years, and who contacted Lucas personally from his maximum-security cell.

With nothing left to lose, Lucas leaves New York to live in and work from the scene of the crime: a split-level farmhouse on a gray-sanded beach in Washington state whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb's diviners - runaways who were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. There, Lucas sets out to capture the real story of the departed faithful. Except that he's not alone. For Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life... and within these walls, they're far from dead.

©2015 Ania Ahlborn (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Some of the most promising horror I've encountered in years." (Seanan McGuire, New York Times best-selling author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic, as was expected...

Over the past year I have devoured everything in Amish Ahlborn's growing library of dark fiction, and she has failed to disappoint. Fans of King and the early novels of John Saul will greatly enjoy Ahlborn's storytelling prowess and rich characterization. I highly recommend each and every one of her novels. Why not start with this one?

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • CC
  • 03-15-16

Within This Book is Greatness

If you are looking for a book version of the television show The Following, but better - this is the book!

It is believed that 30 years ago cult leader, Jeffrey Halcomb, lead his followers to a mass suicide. The public, police, and true-crime writer Lucas Graham can only deduce what happened from the evidence because Jeffrey Halcomb refuses to give any interviews or speak with anyone regarding the event and obviously all of the other witnesses to the event are dead. So when Jeffrey Halcomb promises an exclusive interview to Lucas, he absolutely jumps on board. He travels cross-country with his 12-year-old daughter to move into the house where the mass suicide took place - where he can immerse himself in the story, dig deeper into the event, and be close to the prison where Jeffrey Halcomb is held so their interview can take place. If you are thinking that strange things will happen inside the house - they will. If you are thinking that Lucas will get so absorbed in the story and his interview that he ignores and neglects his daughter - he will. If you are thinking that his daughter will wind up in a dangerous situation - she will. If you are thinking that you will like this book - you will!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good Ghost Story

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I found it a bit jarring that the "family" was operating in the eighties. I realize that this was done so that the ages of former members in the year 2015 would make sense, but culturally it's weird. All of Jeff's false front of peace and love was so grounded in the late 60's and seventies, it's hard for me to picture 80's kids finding him cool enough be drawn in. On the other hand, he was also pretty Jim Jones-ish.

If you’ve listened to books by Ania Ahlborn before, how does this one compare?

My first, not bad.

Did R. C. Bray do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I liked the narrator a lot actually. His seductive voice for Jeff was especially creepy. When My attention is all on the story and the narrator is invisible, that's a good thing.

Could you see Within These Walls being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Someone like John Cusack as Lou.

Any additional comments?

Certainly creeped me out in spots and held my attention. I'd be willing to check out another from this author.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Oh, Lou...

Great book. I stayed up until 330 in the morning because I had to finish. Ania is real. The best new horror writer!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

RC Bray should just narrate everything!

A good story with some really creepy moments and the flashback sequence is really moved the story in an interesting direction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Finally found a good one

I love horror but am hard pressed to find ones that are really good. After a while they all seem to follow the same story line. This one was different. By the last chapter I was still guessing how it would end. Other books I liked were "Ghost story " by Peter Schwab, "A ship possessed" by A J Stanton

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great read

loved it, really was holding on to every word waiting for what would be next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • melissa
  • Norwich, CT, United States
  • 10-28-15

Never really got going for me...

I was intrigued by the description of this book and the plot however it never really got off the ground for me and there were to many loose ends that never seemed to get tied up as neatly as I would have liked. There were some creepy elements and the evolution of some of the characters into a cult-mind set were compelling but I found it difficult to simply accept many of the "happenings" especially toward the end. I just didn't buy the reactions of some of the characters to what was taking place all around them. I felt like it was just not to explain and by the end of the both, I really wanted wanted more explanation. Several scenes had no followup at all, and they seemed really to be an important part of the story - like what Jeffrey had done to be banished from his family and town...or the significance of the cross, or the even the point of the ritual itself in the end. I was overly disappointed by the end.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Beyond confusion

Way too many name changes on multiple characters make it hard to keep anything straight. Story was just OK but plot holes abound.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

clunky writing, doesnt trust the reader

I had high hopes reading other reviews, but I was mostly disappointed. The overall story is somewhat cliche (70s cult, haunted house, washed up writer --- for the love of god authors stop making your lead characters writers), though the ending did have a nice twist. However the writing to get to that point is clunky, awkward, and doesnt trust the reader to figure things out for herself. This book suffers a lot from telling instead of showing which, particularly for a horror book, detracts a lot (can Ahlborn really not think of a more creative way to depict something as creepy besides saying "he was really creepy"?). There were so many simple fixes that the author could have employed to make the book more atmospheric or engrossing. Dont know if I will read this author again.