Book Review: "What Lies Within" by Screenwriter Turned Novelist Jim Morris

What Lies Within
By James Morris


"You’re going to die." A single text message and Shelley Marano’s world is upended. A normal high school senior, Shelley discovers she is adopted. She goes on a journey to uncover her past, only to find she was part of a horrific experiment to test the theory of nature versus nurture. In a culture of violence committed by young people, she may be one of these killers. With the lives of her and her friends in the balance, one thing is certain: she will never be the same.


Author James Morris, former television writer with credits on “Smallville” and “Dead Zone,” has struck out on his own as a novelist with thriller What Lies Within. Reader-nominated for publication through Amazon’s kindlescout platform, the story takes nature vs. nurture to task, and it’s clear that Morris’s scriptwriting experience has served him well in crafting a brisk plot with well-crafted characters.

While the story deftly spins through Shelley’s frantic search for her true past, however, the scenes tend to move a bit too quickly. I enjoyed the themes, relationships, and jeopardy the story offers, but I would encourage Morris to linger a bit longer, settle in and explore the story’s milieu, themes, and relationships for a deeper experience. 

I’m asking for more, and if What Lies Within is an indication of the stories Morris plans to write, that’s a good thing. He has the talent and drive to deliver, and I encourage thriller fans to keep on eye on his evolution as a novelist. Pick up What Lies Within today through Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Learn more about Jim Morris in our Exclusive Interview

About the Reviewer

Dan Noel is a San Francisco transplant covering music, video games and whatever is thrown his way. Follow him on Twitter:@Hurrican3Dan

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