Last year, I read Baby Doll by Hollie Overton (you can check out my review for that one here) and was blown away by her writing style and intensity of her narrative. Needless to say, when I discovered her sophomore novel was releasing this month, I was thrilled. I’m pleased to report, Overton’s second work does not disappoint. The Walls was filled with a fast paced plot and easily digestible narrative style. I read this one over the course of a few hours, unable to put it down.
The novel opens with Kristy, a single mom working on death row, navigating her daily life behind the prison walls. As a liaison between the media and death row inmates, she is no stranger to the evils of the world. Working with rapists and murderers is not easy, but Kristy does her best to see the good in every situation. When she meets Lance Dobson, a man advocating for her son, she falls in love hard and fast. Until, after they marry, everything changes. Lance is abusive and Kristy finds herself in constant terror. Battling her own personal struggles and her difficult caseload at work, Kristy finds herself confiding in one inmate; an inmate who has always maintained his innocence. Kristy knows Lance will kill her, but not if she kills him first. Does she have what it takes to commit the perfect crime?
As you can tell from the synopsis, this one is an absolute roller coaster. I loved the balance that Overton accomplished within the plot; she was easily able to portray the complex characters and also keep her reader completely on the edge of their seat. I loved Kristy’s interactions in the prison, her death row experience and her family life at home.
Most domestic thrillers read similarly, however, I found with The Walls that Overton was able to accomplish something completely different. Using the prison as a backdrop, it didn’t feel like the same tired and true story, there were so many other elements working in and around the prison that added to the plot.
Now, one of the biggest things I feel the need to address is the global thriller label. This novel is marketed as a thriller. While there is no jaw dropping moments in the plot, I felt like Overton kept me endlessly entertained with her writing. Was this a novel full of “thrills and chills”, not at all; was this a novel that you will read compulsively? Absolutely! I felt like this was absolutely fiction with thrilling elements and that was enough for me!
Lovers of Chevy Stevens and Jodi Picoult will like this one especially!