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REVEW: Verum Malum – Michael R. Collins

Verum Malum - Michael R. Collins

Genre: Occult Horror

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

A simple story of life, love, and the inevitable trip to Hell to save your husband’s soul from eternal torture.

Life is getting better for Ben and Noah until people from Ben’s past come calling, making him realize one does not dabble in infernal rituals and human sacrifice without paying a price. These people worship something far worse than the Devil, and a place far worse than Hell: the Verum Malum. Now Ben and Noah must survive the murderous attempts to bring him back into the fold, leading them into the malevolent heart of the Malum itself.

How far would you go for the one you love?

The Review

Verum Malum by Michael R. Collins is well worth reading. Even if you don’t like horror, the relationship between Ben and Noah is beautiful!

When Ben was younger,  life had turned dark for him, and he fought two different types of evil.  He escaped one, but the other still follows him. Now he’s married to Noah, and life continually gets better.

Noah is an artist, and has done cover work for Emaciated Angel, a metal band.

A mysterious phone call about Ben’s health makes their lives almost spin out of control. 

On the night of a small get-together at their home, evil returns. Jackie, one of their close friends, is quick to notice a man that has come with another friend. As soon as Ben sees him, he tells this strange man to leave his home. Marius is part of Ben’s life that he doesn’t want to remember.  

Marius and Alexander want Ben back for their own evil purposes. He’s an important part of their Ritual to gain the power of “Verum Malum.”  Ben knows of the horror that is to come, and he knows he’s going to hell.

This is the first book I’ve read from Collins, and I was thoroughly impressed with Verum Malum.  He takes horror and evil and melds it with a love that is deep and strong. Most of all, I got really wrapped up in the love and loyalty between Noah and Ben. I cheered them on and wanted so much for them.

Jackie is also a star in this story. She stood by both Noah and Ben, and she’s very loyal to both. She has a second sense about odd events. And the Emaciated Angels band members (Jason, Lydia, Jake and Tim) may not be very bright, but they come to their senses by the end.

And rounding out the cast are the sociopaths who crave power, lust and greed:  Marius,  Alexander, Scarlet and Parker.

The story is dark themed, twisted, unpredictable, gruesome, exciting, and heart wrenching. Verum Malum is not the devil or a demon, but something totally beyond that. It also deals with racism and being gay that both Noah and Ben have to deal with, bring of Lebanese and Cuban heritages.

Verum Malum is an excellent, well written, emotional story, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.


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