I Hope he Rots in Hell

By Cynthia Fridsma

TraumaTrauma begins with Susan having a terrifying nightmare, but she awakens to something worse – her father is strangling her mother, and he doesn’t know why or remember it. Is it drugs or something more sinister? Susan’s nightmares continue to worsen, and she doesn’t know what these nocturnal horrors mean or why she keeps having them. When her best friend Xander becomes injured in a terrible car accident and is taken to hospital, Susan discovers that her nightmares aren’t imaginary. They are suppressed memories of horrific events. Susan soon discovers that she is adopted, and her life has been built around lies. Naturally, Susan has serious questions that demand answers. What happened to her birth parents? Is her father the abusive monster she remembers?

Susan’s biological father turns out to be Roy, a sadistic serial killer who hears voices from the gods and suffers from disturbing hallucinations. As the narrative progresses, it is revealed that Susan’s mother, Galina, experienced horrifying abuse at Roy’s hands during his spiraling descent into madness. But did Galina die, or is she also somehow still haunting Susan’s dreams and memories? The story of Susan’s parents not only tells a tale of a battered woman, a good husband sliding into murderous psychopathic madness, and a child’s mounting terror, it is also full of surprises. All the lead characters have a hidden backstory that is slowly unveiled in a riveting sequence of dramatic twists and turns.

Susan is left with a lot of information to process – a serial killer for a father, the events that led to her adoption, and worrying about Xander’s recovery. But all’s well that end’s well, and the plot concludes with yet another surprise twist that connects Xander’s accident to Susan’s happy ending.

As an extra treat, readers will love the references to Stephen King’s masterpiece of horror, The Shining. Trauma is a real treasure for anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers or horrors. There is a lot of action and drama within the book that will keep readers focused on the text and hoping for more.


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