Tom Vowler’s “What Lies Within” is a superb debut novel. Suspensful, emotional and brilliant it has been pegged as a “psychological thriller” but it is so much more than that.
Anna lives in a remote Devon farmhouse with her husband and two children, they are surrounded by natural beauty and live a relaxing life. When a prisoner escapes from nearby Dartmoor prison that freedom is threatened and Anna feels increasingly isolated. Meanwhile a young and idealistic teacher suffers a brutal attack and her life changes forever. As the two stories come together, the question is asked…what is the TRUE meaning of family.
This book will get you from its first page and won’t let you go until you are done. With superb writing and a gripping story intertwined with a sensitive yet realistic look at the aftermath of violence, this is truly a remarkable novel. Yes it is a thriller and a mystery but it is also an extraordinarily truthful look at how events can shape a life. The age old question “nature versus nurture” is embedded in its pages and it will have you considering those things that have shaped your own life. Some of the events in this book spoke directly to my heart in ways that I cannot put into words…I found it hauntingly beautiful.
The tension builds slowly but surely as we see events unfold through Anna’s eyes – she is a character of extreme depth, you will feel you have only scratched the surface even when the tale is done. Her husband and children are equally compelling – I don’t want to say too much, this is a story best read cold to get the full impact – but I WILL say that rarely will you see such a well drawn fictional family in any novel. What Lies Within is right – none of us can know the depth of another persons feelings, even those closest to us, or understand entirely what is at the heart of them – how often in reality can we even say we know those things about ourselves? What Mr Vowler has achieved here is a rare thing…a crime and mystery novel with total heart and soul. Thats the best way I can think of to put it. Sometimes words are not enough. Read it. You’ll see. As I did I’m sure you will add Mr Vowler to your list of must read authors. Certainly I am very excited to find out what he has in store for us next.
Find out more about Tom Vowler here http://www.tomvowler.co.uk/
Follow him on Twitter here https://twitter.com/tom_vowler