Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Review: The Walls by Hollie Overton

Title: The Walls
Author: Hollie Overton
Published: August 2017, Redhook
Format: ARC Paperback, 416 pages
Source: Publisher

A heart-stopping psychological suspense novel about a Texas prison official driven to commit the perfect crime, by the author of the international bestselling thriller Baby Doll.


Working on death row is far from Kristy Tucker's dream, but she is grateful for a job that allows her to support her son and ailing father. 

When she meets Lance Dobson, Kristy begins to imagine a different kind of future. But after their wedding, she finds herself serving her own life sentence---one of abuse and constant terror.

But Kristy is a survivor, and as Lance's violence escalates, the inmates she's worked with have planted an idea she simply can't shake. 

Now she must decide whether she'll risk everything to protect her family. 

Does she have what it takes to commit the perfect crime?

My thoughts: I picked up this gem at BookExpo this year and am so glad I did. I am new to Hollie Overton's books and while this is only her second book, I definitely plan on reading her debut novel, Baby Doll, as soon as possible, especially if the writing is anything like this one!

This is a fast-paced, crazy thriller! Once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down - I was consumed with the story and ended up reading it in a matter of hours. It's gripping and intense. It takes us into the inner workings of the prison system - who knew that there was a PR job specifically for prisoners on death row? But alongside that we see firsthand just how far someone will go to get out of an abusive relationship. 

I felt that Kristy was a well-drawn, complex and yet relatable character. She is a single mother, taking care not only of her son, but also her sick father and working a demanding job that she doesn't necessarily love but gives her all to every day. Of course, she is going to take notice when someone starts paying her attention...and then, refuse to acknowledge the red flags right away. Who wouldn't? 

The other characters are just as well developed and complex - there isn't anyone here that is lacking in detail. I was particularly intrigued by the relationship, however odd it was, that Kristy developed with the inmate, Clifton. Is he the impetus for her taking the final action in protecting herself or would she have eventually gotten there on her own? Clifton's own story is one I would have loved to have seen gone just a little bit further...not that he didn't serve his purpose, but there was one particular strand to his story line that I felt didn't quite go far enough.

This book doesn't hold back any punches. It will get under your skin and is definitely not for the faint of heart when it comes to the violence that is portrayed throughout. From the abusive relationship to the death row deaths, this book takes you on a roller coaster of a ride. I found myself gripped to the pages and had plenty of "heart-stopping" moments! I cannot wait to pick up Hollie's previous book and will certainly be keeping an eye out for future releases from this author - she is one heck of a story-teller!!!


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