Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
Roosevelt Theodore Franklin attempts to make it through life day by day. Roosevelt is a widower, who lost his beloved wife to cancer and a retired history professor, and he has not stopped grieving. Along with his two closest friends, also retired and who also have lost loved ones, the three men form a paranormal investigation group. They hope to find an answer to the question: is there life after death?
When asked by a local teacher to investigate a possible haunting of her house, the group discovers an evil beyond anything they could have imagined. This is no mere ghost. Maledicus, who was in life a pimp, torturer, and murderer during Caligula’s reign in Rome, in death has become a sociopathic demon that attacks the weak and innocent. Maledicus threatens a five year old child’s life and soul. Terrified by what they have discovered, Roosevelt and his friends must choose to either walk away from this threat, or do battle with this ancient creature at the potential loss of their sanities, their lives, and their souls.
When our fellow blogger, Charles French, asked if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing Maledicus, the first book in his Investigative Paranormal Society series, I immediately said yes after reading the premise and I’m so glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Maledicus is definitely a character driven book, and just about everyone involved is well-rounded and completely relatable. The Paranormal Society itself is made up older gentlemen: Roosevelt, Jeremy, and Sam. Each of them has suffered the loss of a loved one and as a result have formed this group to investigate strange occurrences and either confirm and dispel meddlesome spirits, or debunk them. The focus in this story is mainly on Roosevelt, but you still get a good sense of who the others are as the author alternates POVs and timelines. Even the demon, Maledicus’ backstory is thoroughly explored, and let me tell you he is one nasty piece of work.
My only criticism is that I felt the dialogue was a little awkward at times and there was some repetitive words and phrasing. But there wasn’t enough of this to spoil my overall enjoyment of the book. I also wish that the IPS’s latest client Helen, had been a little more developed. I don’t know if she’ll be appearing in future books, but I wouldn’t mind seeing her again.
The plot itself is classic horror. Instead of relying on blood and gore, there’s a continual building of chilling suspense and fear. I was mesmerized from the very first page. Everything is so detailed, from the characters backstories, to the afterlife where Maledicus is unleashing his campaign of terror, that I was completely invested in what was happening.
In the end, I believe Maledicus is an auspicious debut for Charles French. With its believable characters and themes of love, friendship and devotion coupled with the horror, suspense and mystery, it’s a captivating tale and one I highly recommend. I’m looking forward to reading the next supernatural adventure of this intrepid group.
If you haven’t checked out Charles’s blog at https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com I recommend that as well. You won’t be disappointed.