Book Review: Maledicus by Charles F. French

History has tons of lecherous and caustic villains. Author Charles F. French re-introduced me to one in the debut novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, in his series ‘The Investigative Paranormal Society.’ Long ago under Roman Emperor Caligula served a man named Maledicus. Is he real or made-up? I’m not sure, but’s he scary and wicked, and I don’t ever want to meet him. Maledicus has tortured hundreds perhaps thousands, but when Caligula fears the man he once thought of as an ally, Maledicus is tricked into being killed. But he’s so horrific, the Underworld refuses to let him truly die and instead, he haunts people for thousands of years. Through an idol of sorts, his spirit is invoked and wrecks havoc on anyone nearby. Fast forward to current day and a young girl being tortured in her dreams… it wasn’t enough her entire family died under mysterious circumstances, now what’s she gonna do?


French’s novel is a page-turner. He doesn’t just tell us the story of Maledicus. We learn the stories of several people impacted by him in the 19th and 20th centuries. We also get to know the three investigators who’ve formed a paranormal club near the end of their regular careers. We become invested in their characters, their pasts, and their suffering. We root for them to overcome what’s holding them back… and then we just want them to survive the ‘re-incarnated’ Maledicus. What a thriller! It’s a roller coaster of crazy drama across multiple historical periods. I’m certain at times we’re not really supposed to know the order in which things happened, too. But that’s okay… the plot and details are just great.

French has told a new type of scary story where sometimes we think things will turn out okay, then we’re slapped cold and quick. He’s highly imaginative and comes up with some great tortures (without being too graphically detailed). Characters are diverse and clear. Timelines are murky but that’s okay… it helps build the drama of ‘wait… what’s really going on here?’ so we can find some of the final surprises. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what really happens in the last few chapters.

It’s the first in the series… I’m looking forward to more. Kudos to the author for writing us a chilling drama worthy of a few nail-biting moments.


About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.



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