Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Within These Walls” as Want to Read:
Within These Walls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Within These Walls

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,417 Ratings  ·  459 Reviews
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
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Gallery Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Within These Walls, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Deborah Buy it when it comes out tomorrow?
Andrea Riley
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
Ania Ahlborn does haunted houses up right. Although I cannot say that this tale scared me, it had an overall creepiness to it that was quite tasty. It shifts in energy from present day back to 1983 when a nasty double murder/multiple suicide sacrament took place on the premises.

The house hums. Could be it hums with energy; mayhap it hums with evil. Whichever it is, the house does not stand alone. Its carpet and decor are ever-changing (imagine the horror at having your own carpeting revert to s

Eh. This one just couldn't carry its weight to the end for me. It just went on for too long so much so by the end my eyes were glazing over and I didn't really care anymore. Maybe if pared back by about 100 pages a tighter, leaner narrative would have been the result and that might have helped things.

The book has a great premise and there are a few creepy scenes, but overall things just take too long to unspool. By the time all the pieces start to come together, none of it feels like a surprise
Althea Ann
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well-crafted, nicely-done horror/thriller which merges cult murders with an element of the supernatural.

I'd heard good things about Ania Ahlborn, so picked this up when I had the opportunity, and it did not disappoint.

A true crime writer, Lucas Graham, gets an offer that he can't refuse: Jeffrey Halcomb, a notorious, Charles-Manson-esque killer who's never once spoken to the press since he was jailed, years ago, says he'll give Graham an exclusive. The resulting book will be the best-selling hit
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Lucas Graham is a washed up crime writer, on the verge of losing everything. With a cheating wife and divorce imminent, he suddenly receives a letter that he hopes will lead to the solution of all of his troubles. Jeffrey Halcomb, now an inmate at a maximum security prision, offers Lucas the one thing he's never granted to anyone in the 30 years of his incarceration--a chance to hear the real story behind the murder/suicides of ten members of his cult "family".

Of course, there is a condition att
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-horror
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ania Ahlborn has been on my radar for some time. A number of her books were given great reviews by some of my friends, so I kept meaning to pick up one of her books, but I never did. So when I saw this book on Netgalley I jumped at the chance to read this and was thrilled when I was approved.

I was in the mood for a good horror and this book did not disappoint.

Lucas Graham is a writer, whose live is falling apart. His career is
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“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

It's like a screwy mix of The Following (the TV show) with the Skeleton Key, cherry-topped with some heavy-ass existential dread and drenched in human's most basic fear
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
Within these walls by Ania Ahlborn was the best written paranormal/horror book i've read so far Lucas Graham is a washed up writer who hasn't had a hit in years until he gets a letter from Jeffery halcomb wanting him to visit him in maximum security prison so lucas moves to the exact house with his daughter to find out what he has got to say this turns out to be the spookiest ride Ahlborn takes you on was hooked from start to finish
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Another strong release from horror author Ania Ahlborn. She's very adept at capturing human emotions caught up in whirlwind events, and most of the time, it's not pretty.

This was a cross between an Amityville Horror, a cult/kidnapping, and a story about a final attempt to get the golden ticket. There's some clichés, especially with the haunted house part, but overall, it was a good read with a high level of tense creepiness.

Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was so much fun. One of those reads you look forward to every night. It was a slow build. A washed up author gets the deal of a lifetime to interview a man who is in jail for murdering a woman and her unborn baby in a ritualistic way. The man in jail also says that the author must live in the same house in which the murder took place. It was also the home where the man was a leader of a cult--several young men and women all living in the house together.
The author, desperate, accepts th
Jul 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
Did everyone read the same book I did?

I'm guessing no by the other high ratings.

So after more than 100 pages I was still waiting for the horror to start. I tried reading without the lights on at night and my porch door open.

Still not scared.

I put the book down and watched some creepy YouTube videos.

Still not scared.

Then I started thinking about the main character's wife and I was scared.

I was scared because that woman is so awful even a spineless washed up author (who I imagine is also forgetf
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lucas is a crime writer who career is now in a slump, his personal life has also taken a drastic downwards swing so when a mysterious offer comes in for him to interview notorious cult leader, Jeffrey Halcomb, he decides this could be his last chance at a best seller and moves across the country with his daughter Jeanie, to where Halcomb is confined.

Along with the offer of an interview, there are some s
Frank Errington
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review copy

It all starts with a letter to True Crime writer Lucas Graham. What's important is who the letter is from and what it offers, a chance to interview convicted mass murderer, Jeffrey Halcomb, who has never told his story of the heinous crime for which he was convicted more than 30 years ago.

It's an opportunity that would jump-start Lou's flagging career, but there's a catch. Jeffrey want's Lou to live in the house in Pier Pointe, Washington, the scene of the crime. It's a deal breaker,
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
2 stars--meh.

I love the idea of this book (a creepy cult combined with ghosts is pretty much my ideal horror story), but the execution was really bad. The worst flaws:

* Repetitive: If I had to hear one more time how writing this book was Lucas's last chance....
* Showing, not telling: We're told Jeffrey was charming and seductive, but never see that in action.
* Lack of details: What were Jeffrey's ideals and beliefs? Most importantly, where did he get the power he summoned? I'd love to know the
Wendi Lee
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars*

I was very impressed with this horror novel about a charismatic leader responsible for the suicides of his followers, and the murder of a woman and her child. Lucas is a struggling crime writer on the brink of a divorce, when Jeffrey Halcomb (safely housed in a supermax prison) solicits him, promising exclusive interviews in exchange for Lucas moving into the site of the murders.

Doesn't seem like a good idea, right? Yet Lucas doesn't think twice about relocating himself and his twelv
Michael Hicks
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-2015
[Note: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley.]

Ania Ahlborn’s latest, Within These Walls, might be the best horror book of 2015 thus far. Well written, and filled with depth of character and authorial confidence, it’s certainly among the best of the trio of Ahlborn’s releases that I’ve read (although her next novel, Brother, due out in September sounds like it could pose some stiff competition).

Taking center stage here is Lucas Graham, a washed-up true crime n
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I go through a large volume of horror books, and I think this is definitely going to be landing in my favourites. This book creates an amazing atmosphere, great characterization, an interesting plot and is solid beginning to end. I'll definitely be picking up more books by Ania Ahlborn (Seed was also amazing by her).
Judy Collins
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
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable tale from Ahlborn concerning a washed-up true-crime writer who sees an opportunity to resurrect his career after he receives an invitation from a notorious Charles Manson-like prisoner to write the "real" story of what happened with his "family" several years ago. Well-written by Ahlborn with interesting characters and a creepy back story that's told in flashbacks to help set up what happens in the present. Enough horror to satisfy fans of the genre with a bold ending that wouldn't qua ...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
The Good
- The premise! A has-been true crime author hasn't written a book in years, and with his marriage falling apart he sees moving to Washington into the house where a ritualistic murder happened as his last chance
- I loved everything that had to do with the cult. The Jeffrey Holcomb character was very Manson-like and "the family" was so eerie
- The things that happened with this "haunted" house were fun

The Not-My-Favorite
- Parts of it were a little predictable. There was a mystery character
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars   
I am slowly coming to reluctantly accept that Ahlborn might not be an author for me. Like her other novels, this was slower paced with a focus on characters. While it had a good premise, I simply did not connect with the story. I listened to this on audio, which was a good experience. R.C. Bray can do little wrong by me.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hands down, Ania is my favorite author of the year. She doesn't write stories with happy endings. She writes brutal tales that will rip your heart straight from your chest. This one was so intense and dark and twisted. I loved it!
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn is an intriguing hybrid of psychological horror and haunted house tale. Both sub-genres are favorites of mine. What Within These Walls does so well is to bring them together in a novel that spans a thirty year period with complex characters and interactions. Most of the book takes place in a house where true crime author Lucas Graham and his 12 year old daughter Virginia temporarily resides. Yet it is not so much the allegedly haunted house that scares us but t ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

I was given an early release copy of Within These Walls by Netgalley for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley, Gallery Books, and Ania Ahlborn.

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn is a taught, atmospheric, and purposefully paced horror story by one of my favorite authors. I am a huge fan of Ahlborn's and have read many of her horror stories. This book is a good example of her style, her tastes, and her methods of scare. Her books are not slash and bleed gore fests that are intended to
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Ania Ahlborn has become one of my favorite horror authors. She is such a wonderful storyteller. An author is given the deal of a lifetime. A cult leader on death row offers to let him interview him if the author will live in the house where the murders were committed. Now that's a hook! This story goes back and forth between the present day and the past when the leader lived in the house with the cult. Loved it!
Andi Rawson
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Ania Ahlborn since I first read The Bird Eater. Thanks to NetGalley I didn't have to pace grooves into my floor waiting until April for the release of Within These Walls. I enjoyed this one very much. I do have to admit that it was a slow starter for me, but at 464 pages, it wasn't by any means boring which is impressive.

Lucas Graham is a true crime writer who has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. When a letter arrives in the mail inviting him to conduct the first-ever inte
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When Ania Ahlborn first burst onto the scene a few years back with the superlative Seed, any horror fan worth their merit badge knew it was an arrival of a great talent. The intermittent books have been somewhat less impressive, but seems like she's been saving it all for this, her magnum opus, finally from a well deserved major publishing house. This book has so much going for it, it's impossible to put own and so I didn't, devouring it all in a single morning/afternoon. The first chapter, the ...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Ah, my Ania reread for November. I first read this book back in 2015 and my feelings are the same. Let's face it, Ania knows how to write a story. I think any of you who have read her work will agree.

I love anything cultish and add in a supernatural flare and I'm one happy girl. Imagine being a crime writer and being given the deal of the century. Enter cult leader Jeffrey Halcomb, on death row, giving you exclusive rights to his story. The only catch? You have to live in the house where it all
May 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I know people who loved it, but I had some serious problems with this book. In an effort not to get into spoilers territory, I'll only say that things started out b-movie levels of implausible, and descended from there. The plot makes almost no sense, there's no real explanation for anything that happens, and the characters (especially Lucas, the protagonist) behave in a way that no actual human beings ever would. Seriously, take the stupidest, most pathetic horror movie victim and stretch their ...more
Melinda Borie
Apr 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I wanted to like this book, but the creepy tale of cult-murder was nowhere near enough for me to get around the ugly, ugly misogyny of the main character-- how many times in the first few pages is it necessary to comment on his wife being a nasty evil slut who cheated on him, changed her hair color, and just plain isn't nice enough to him about his ineffectual whining? Add in the cliched angsty preteen daughter and more than 2/3 of the chapters were automatically insufferable. I enjoyed the flas ...more
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I wanted to like this. I really did. The plot seemed so interesting. The plot probably would've interesting.

The problem is that it doesn't make sense and the author didn't maintain the scares to cover up the nonsense that is generally in horror books. This makes it pretty much impossible to forget all the bad stuff.

Most of the plot threads and questions go unanswered too. Why did Jeff need a baby? If he could substitute a completely different and unrelated teen then they wouldn't've done that lo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Horror Aficionados : Within these walls - Ania Ahlborn (spoilers) 30 68 Mar 05, 2015 03:48PM  
  • No One Gets Out Alive
  • The Doll Collection
  • The Faceless
  • Deadlock
  • Dream of the Serpent
  • Creative Spirit
  • Dead Spots
  • Kin
  • Voice
  • Little Girls
  • Providence Rag (Liam Mulligan, #3)
  • Dead of Winter
  • Manchester House
  • The Nightmare Within
  • The 13th
  • Whom the Gods Would Destroy
  • Hide and Seek
  • Sunblind
Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Author of n
“Every mother has the miraculous ability of momentary blindness.” 10 likes
“In some ways, writing books is like giving yourself eternal life, isn’t it?” 4 likes
More quotes…