Once that Lucas and his daughter get to the house things go from bad to worse with alarming frequency. The two barely speak, they both see disturbing visions, and experience inexplicable phenomena, and their relationship is so fractured that they respond by withdrawing even further into themselves.
I won’t reveal any more, but as I said, Ms. Ahlborn has a deft touch with horror. She dosen’t club you over the head; she prefers a stiletto. This is a dark and disturbing story filled with a genuine sense of unease, and it works wonders as a novel of horror. I do think that anyone reading this book should know that it is unremittingly bleak. There is hardly a ray of light or a shred of hope to be seen. A lot of terrible, tragic events take place, and a lot of innocent people have their lives ruined or ended, in very bad ways. Also some of the plots twists and turns surprised me, while others were more obvious.
I don’t like to compare one novel to another, but this book holds a place in my reading list alongside Pet Sematary by Stephen King, and The Devil All The Time, not a supernatural novel, but almost certainly one of horror, by Donald Ray Pollock as books I admire, but recommend with a few reservations. This is powerful stuff, not for the faint of heart. That is part of what made it work for me. Ms. Ahlborn tells her tale, with guts and skill, and she doesn't stray from her convictions or pull her punches one bit. Within These Walls is a shocking, scary read, and I bet that that’s just what Ms. Ahlborn intended.