Book Review: Within by Keith Deininger


25486840Title: Within

Author: Keith Deininger

Genre: Horror, Dark Fiction

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Something’s wrong in the eclectic mountain town of Mesa Rapids. Something’s always been wrong. Sometimes its citizens behave in strange ways—sometimes to the point of violence…

When the wealthy and enigmatic art collector Harold Klimt moves into the long dilapidated house known as the Upshaw Mansion, most don’t think twice about it. But when Mr. Klimt begins to throw lavish parties for the town’s elite, Colin Thorne—a young, aspiring artist still grieving over the recent death of his childhood friend—sneaks inside the house to explore, suspicious something’s wrong.

What he finds are the buried secrets of a town with a troubled history and something else…a plane of horror so vast that it threatens to alter reality.

Soon after that, Mr. Klimt offers Colin a job—painting a mural in the basement of the Upshaw Mansion. As Colin becomes more and more obsessed with the dark vision he is creating, the horror begins to bubble to the surface of not only his psyche, but the entire town.

If there was ever a book that deserved to be called a mash-up between Salem’s Lot and The Shining (two of the finest horror books out there, if you ask me), then it would be Within. The book mixes a haunted house trope with the haunted town trope, and it has the same creepy atmosphere of both aforementioned books. Keith Deininger successfully mixes reality with nightmare in a bizarre, twisted book that will haunt you long after.

Mesa Rapids is no ordinary town. THe inhabitants have always known, but things got way worse after the wealthy art collector Harold Klimt moves into the Upshaw Mansion, a house that stayed without occupants for far longer than is normal. When Klimt starts throwing ravish parties in the style of The Great Gatsby. Just like Gatsby, Klimt is a mysterious figure, but he’s of a far more sinister kind.

Colin Thorne is a young, aspiring artist who Klimt offers a job: to paint a mural in the basement of the Upshaw Mansion. But as Colin grows more and more obsessed with the painting, the horror that envelops his psyche transcends into the town.

The author does an admirable job painting the characters. Even Klimt feels like a real person rathe than a character in a book. The town itself is so real it feels like a character too, and its descend into madness is beautifully depicted.

However, the book leaves a lot of questions unanswered and whereas I don’t mind an open ending in horror books, I do like my books to have at least some kind of closure on the most important topics, which was lacking here. Too many issues remained unresolved.

Despite that though, the book delivers a haunting tale of madness and nightmares, which I’d recommend for fans of atmospheric horror.


  1. This looks SO good! (and it’s kind of perfect for why I’m here today…) I hadn’t heard of this one but it sounds like it’s right up my alley. I hate unanswered questions, but it sounds like a worthwhile read anyway. Great review!
    I just wanted to let you know that the Horror Reading Challenge second quarter update & giveaway has been posted! I hope you’ll come by and say hi!
    Tracy @ Cornerfolds


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