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Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite
The Wolves Within Our Walls by L.E. Flinders is a psychological suspense novel about living with a facade, one that hides a horrific monster beneath. Zoe Wilkes lives an average life, working as a waitress and living with her roommate, Ben. One night, she is awoken by an alarming call from Becky, who urges them to go to her house. Not long after that, Zoe and Ben are evacuated to a shelter where food and water are in limited supply. She escapes, only to run into a mysterious man named Jacob. Jacob leads her to a safe haven that focuses on hindering conflicts, promoting education and creativity, and allowing people to work together in a safe and productive manner. At first, she is enticed by this world, from meeting her soon-to-be lover, Miles, to becoming fast friends with the elites of this society. However, after finding a bloody knife in Miles’s possession, she realizes that not everything is as it seems. With this perfect illusion on the brink of falling apart, Zoe must confront Jacob, as secrets emerge from a corrupted darkness she hadn’t known existed.
I enjoyed reading about the relationships between Jacob, Miles, and Holly. There was a certain eeriness to their supposed closeness, and while I kept telling myself they were all friends, there was something about them that didn’t sit well with me. When Miles first approached Zoe, I was taken with his sweetness. However, as the story continued, just like the relationship between Jacob, Miles, and Holly, there was something off-putting about him. When Zoe really did have to run, it was as if I was watching the monsters in each of these characters rise out of them, as if a mask was crumbling away from their faces. Flinders outdid himself in this regard, illustrating that even the most perfect of disguises withers away, just like everything in time. It’s reminiscent of movies such as The Crazies and The Stepford Wives, something that I thoroughly liked.
Flinders also crafted an interesting world where two sides struggle to dominate the other. One side was a perfect utopia where everyone works together and gets along, while the other was an apocalyptic wasteland where people have to scavenge to survive. The fact that this utopia had a parasitic interaction with the outside world is something to be said, devouring others in order to survive. It was as if I was watching the Ouroboros itself consuming its own flesh and blood, trying to thrive in a never ending cycle of pain and suffering. I loved the corrupted nature of Jacob’s society, as well as the delusions that these characters tried so valiantly to maintain. Because of this, I would recommend it to fans of The Feral Sentence by G.C. Julien, alongside the video game BioShock.