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I Do Terrible Things is John Goodrich’s second novel under Crossroad Press’s Macabre Ink imprint, and, like its predecessor, Hag, it provides both chills and pause. Brick by chaptered brick, John constructs a surreal tale of fright and gore, building to a denouement that would make Euripides proud. His prose is a feast – not always savory – for the senses, his violence is never gratuitous, and his characters, no matter their prominence, are all fully formed and multi-dimensional. Especially his protagonist, Donna.

Witty, real, and conflicted as hell, Donna Otálora is a reluctant heroine just trying to survive without losing her mind. Her life in Oakham, Massachusetts, is what one might call ordinary. She has work she usually enjoys, a best friend who would do anything for her, and a boyfriend who’s definitely a cut above her last disaster. So why is her sleep suddenly awash with violence and death? Why is she dreaming of slaughtering people she doesn’t even know? More to the point, is she dreaming?

Even at her worst, Donna is a protagonist you root for.  Page by page, chapter after chapter, the reader is drawn into her increasingly paranoid world, relishing each piece of her puzzle as it falls into place. Her quest is not only outward but inward, as she discovers truths she never knew existed and strengths she never knew she possessed.

I Do Terrible Things is a blood-soaked, nightmarish tumble down the rabbit hole. It’s definitely worth the trip.

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